THE devastated son of a former telecoms engineer is appealing to his dad’s former workmates for help.

He is hoping to determine how his father was exposed to the asbestos that claimed his life.

Terence Hutt was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.

Following his diagnosis, the 73-year-old Warrington man had instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his illness and if it could be linked to his work history.

Terence, known as Terry, died on June 29 last year before he could see his case completed, with a coroner concluding that he died of the industrial disease mesothelioma.

The family, led by son Tony Hutt, aged 50, are now continuing with the investigation Terry started in his memory, and they are keen to trace anyone who may remember Terry from his time working in London.

Ahead of World Cancer Day on Saturday, February 4, Tony has joined with the legal team to seek details on the working conditions his dad may have faced from 1966 to 1981 working as a telecom engineer for Telephone Rentals Limited, and during his time in the 1980s working for the London Transport Executive.

From 1982 until 1987, Terry worked for Rentokil Group Ltd.

Emma Guy, the asbestos-related disease specialist supporting Tony and the family, said: “Terry had been fit and healthy prior to his diagnosis.

“The speed of his illness and death has understandably left the family in a state of shock.

“Mesothelioma is a disease that often only becomes apparent years after initial exposure to asbestos has taken place, and the progress of the illness robbed Terry of his quest for answers – something the family is keen to set right.

“Nothing can bring Terry back, but we are determined to support Tony and the family to get the answers his dad wanted and the family deserve.

“If anyone who worked with Terry or is familiar with the working conditions he would have faced could come forward, it would mean a lot to Tony.

“The details could help give the family some closure after what has been a terrible experience.”

Terry went to work for Telephone Rentals in London as a telecom engineer in 1966 and stayed with the company until 1981.

For the next 15 years, Terry recalled regularly coming into contact with asbestos, particularly when installing cables in offices and factories.

As part of his job, Terry would be working with cables under floors and in ceiling spaces, which regularly contained asbestos.

Terry Hutt with his wife Rosemary

Terry Hutt with his wife Rosemary

Following this, Terry also worked on the London Underground, when employed by the London Transport Executive.

From 1981 until 1982, Terry would be regularly exposed to asbestos when working in the tunnels, which were often lined with the substance.

For the five years between 1982 and 1987, Terry had a change of career and worked for the Rentokil Group in pest control.

This work would take him into several large buildings, including hospitals, where Terry said he and colleagues would regularly encounter pipework lagged with asbestos.

Terry had always been a fit man and one who rarely needed to see his GP, but in May last year he went to his doctor feeling breathless and bloated.

Having been referred to hospital, it was determined to be a problem on his right side, which was diagnosed as mesothelioma.

Terry’s condition was determined to be inoperable and untreatable, and he died on June 29 in Maidstone Hospital. The mesothelioma diagnosis was confirmed after his death.

A widower since his wife Rosemary died in 1999, Terry had remained fit and active. He was a keen Arsenal fan and loved to watch football.

At the time of his death, Terry had gone to live with Tony in Kent, who was looking after him as his condition deteriorated.

Speaking for the family, Tony said: “Just a few months on from losing dad, the feelings are all still raw, and it is hard to believe he is really gone.

“He was only in his 70s and had always been in good health, so this was just so unexpected for all of us and is still hard to take in.

“Dad has always been so independent but went downhill so quickly following the diagnosis, and it was so difficult to watch or know what to do for the best.

“There was just nothing we could do and at that moment. We all felt so powerless.

“He did say he had worked with asbestos in the past and was keen to get to the bottom of his illness, but even the chance to find out more was taken away from him in the end.

“We are clear we will do what we can to see his last wishes carried out, so if anyone who remembers dad or where he worked could come forward, we would really appreciate it.”

Anyone with information that could help Tony and the family is asked to call Emma at Irwin Mitchell on 0207 421 3913 or email