SCIENTIST Roy Hancock died as a result of being exposed to asbestos during his working life at the nuclear laboratories in Berkeley, a coroner has ruled.

Mr Hancock, who died of malignant mesothelioma at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in July 2008, aged 64, had also visited several power stations being decommissioned in Russia in the early 1990s and could have come into contact wth asbestos there, the inquest heard.

At Christmas 2007, he started having pains in his stomach and later in hospital was diagnosed with mesothelioma and only given a short time to live.

He died eight weeks after disagnosis, said his wife Madeleine Hancock in a statement.

The inquest heard that he had worked in a building which had asbestos stripped out of it.

It also heard how while visiting the boiler rooms at Berkeley, Mr Hancock, who lived at Lanton Close in the town, may have been exposed to asbestos.

Gloucestershire coroner Alan Crickmore said the scientist had also been involved in designing and manufacturing small furnaces for research purposes where he may have been exposed.

Recording an industrial disease verdict, Mr Crickmore said he was satisfied that Mr Hancock inhaled asbestos over a period of time and there was no evidence to suggest he had done that other than through his employment.

He recorded a verdict of industrial disease of malignant mesothelioma.