Campaigner dies after asbestos fight

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The Independent Online
A woman who took on what was once the world's biggest asbestos manufacturer in a gruelling legal battle, and won, has died of cancer.

June Hancock, who, as a child, played in drifts of abestos dust from a factory near her home in Leeds, led an historic battle against the multinational engineering company Turner & Newall.

The courts ordered the company to pay pounds 65,000 compensation for the damage done to her health by asbestos. It was the first victory of its kind in Britain, opening the way for up to 40 other claims.

Mrs Hancock died, aged 61, at Killingbeck Hospital, Leeds, on Saturday, her family announced yesterday after weeks of decline in her health.

Her solicitor and close friend, Adrian Budgen, said: "She was a remarkable women in all respects. Her courage and bravery amazed us. She thought not just for herself but all the others who thought they were alone.

"She struggled in poor health against a company that did everything in its power to avoid the claim. It waged a war of attrition against her."