Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 12:19 UK

Cancer victim in MoD legal fight

Nuclear tests
The tests took place at the height of the Cold War

A Worcestershire cancer victim has won the right to sue the Ministry of Defence for the illness he claims was caused by nuclear tests 60 years ago.

Ex-soldier Barry Hands, 71, said he was ordered to stand on a beach during five nuclear explosions on Christmas Island in the Pacific in the 1950s.

A judge ruled on Friday that 1,000 veterans could sue the government.

The MoD had argued that a causal link could not be established and the action was out of time.

Mr Hands from Droitwich has malignant melanoma.

The veterans, who took part in the programme on the Australian mainland, Monte Bello islands and Christmas Island between 1952 and 1958, say that new scientific evidence has shown links between exposure to ionising radiation and their conditions, which include cancer, skin defects and fertility problems.

Many of them are terminally ill and seven have died since the hearing at London's High Court in January.

A full hearing over the multi-million pound compensation claim can now go ahead.

Print Sponsor

Ex-soldier backs nuclear veterans
21 Jan 09 |  Hereford/Worcs
Veterans hoping for compensation
02 Mar 05 |  Cornwall

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific