A WIDOW has accused the Ministry of Defence of a ‘whitewash’ over the use of depleted uranium in missiles fired on British soil.

Graham Paton, of Kings Crescent, Hereford, died on August 22 last year at St Michael’s Hospice.

The former Royal Tank Regiment serviceman was suffering from multifocal fibrosclerosis, which he believed resulted from exposure to depleted uranium on firing ranges in Lulworth, Dorset.

His inquest heard this week that the 53-year-old had served in the army for 13 years, before his discharge in 1993.

His health had deteriorated significantly since he had left the army, and he was placed on palliative care in 2018.

Consultant endocrinologist Dr Helena Gleeson from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital told the inquest that she understood Mr Paton had been exposed to depleted uranium, which is known to cause inflammation, during his time in the army.

She said that while she could not definitely say that the substance had contributed to Mr Paton’s condition, it was difficult to say that it had not.

Depleted uranium expert Professor Christopher Busby, who had previously supported Mr Paton at an unsuccessful tribunal for a war pension, said that based on the evidence he had, it was more probable than not that Mr Paton’s illness related to exposure to depleted uranium.

He said the army refuses to accept the health risks posed by the substance, which is used in shells.

But the Ministry of Defence said that Mr Paton had never been exposed to depleted uranium.

“I can find no evidence of depleted uranium ammunition having ever been fired at Lulworth,” Brigadier Simon Stockley said.

Mr Paton’s widow, Janet, said her husband had previously been refused a war pension by the MOD, who argued that he had not been exposed to the substance.

She said her husband ‘did not lie’ and was discharged with an exemplary record.

“I think this is a whitewash by the MOD,” Mrs Paton said.

“My husband remembered firing depleted uranium munitions on that range. I know what happened, and I know what he said. He died for his country, and I am very disappointed in the MOD.”

Assistant coroner for Herefordshire Roland Wooderson concluded that despite the assertions of Mr Paton’s family, there was no evidence that he had come into contact with depleted uranium.

He recorded that Mr Paton died of natural causes.