PROLONGED exposure to asbestos caused the death of a Southampton pensioner, a court heard.

Elmo Dougherty, 73, came into contact with the deadly substance while working at Fawley Oil Refinery for 25 years.

Southampton Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Dougherty, of Coxes Drive, Sholing, worked alongside welders and pipefitters after joining the factory in 1977.

Coroner Keith Wiseman said this had led to “significant exposure” to asbestos on an almost daily basis over the years.

This led to the development of fibrosis and bronchial pneumonia, which ultimately killed Mr Dougherty on December 4, 2012.

Mr Wiseman recorded a verdict of death by industrial illness.