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M&S guilty over asbestos in store

Marks & Spencer has been found guilty of failing to protect customers, staff and workers from the possibility of being exposed to asbestos during refurbishment works at its store in Reading.

The clothing and food chain was subject to a three-month trial at Winchester Crown Court accused of failing to ensure all steps were taken to prevent the deadly fibres from being unleashed.

Management was more concerned about the works being "unsightly" and "interfering with the shopping experience", the court heard.

The prosecution was brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).