Son Of Asbestos Victim Appeals For Former Colleagues To Help With Investigation

Specialist Industrial Illness Lawyers Working With Family Of ‘Beloved’ Late Mother


A Leeds man is appealing for his mother’s former colleagues to get in touch after she died of an asbestos-related cancer which meant she never got to meet her youngest grandchild. 

Shirley Haystead (formerly Havenhand), died from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs that is caused by exposure to asbestos dust, in June 2010.

Her son, Wayne Haystead, and sister, Annette Brook Smith, have instructed specialist industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate Shirley’s exposure to asbestos and whether more could have been done to protect her. 

Shirley, who died aged 74, worked throughout her lifetime at Garnett’s Factory in Leeds, which was situated within St Andrews Works at Burley.

Garnett’s had two sites, and is believed to have belonged to the company H Garnett & Sons, which is no longer in business. 

The site that Shirley worked at may have been locally known as Dickson’s, after the man who owned St Andrews Works, whose surname was Dickson. The factory manufactured shoulder pads, amongst other products and Shirley would have been known under her maiden name, Havenhand, when she worked there in the 1950s and 60s. 

Shirley, who moved from Kirkstall to Newcastle Upon Tyne, was diagnosed with mesothelioma between 2007 and 2008. She died on 11 June 2010, after treatment including chemotherapy and having her lungs regularly drained.  

Isobel Lovett, is an associate at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office. 

Shirley’s son, Wayne whom lives in Newcastle, said: “The whole family were devastated when we found out mum had terminal cancer - mesothelioma was a horrible thing for her to have to cope with and she had to endure regular trips to the hospital to get her lungs drained, which was very unpleasant for her.” 

“My father was also suffering from lung cancer at the time, although that was not related to asbestos. He really wanted to care for my mother until the end but she had to move to St Oswald’s Hospice when she became severely ill, which is where she died.” 

“She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, sister and wife and it breaks my heart to think that this could have been prevented if she had been protected whilst at work.”

“She loved her grandchildren dearly and sadly she never got to meet my youngest son or my stepdaughter. We just want to see justice for what she went through and hope that any of her former colleagues get in touch as any information, no matter how small, could prove vital.”

Anyone who thinks they may be able to help is asked to contact Isobel Lovett at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors on 0191 279 0104 or email

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to mesothelioma claims