Former Newquay hotel owner likely to have died from exposure to asbestos at work

A former hotel owner and champion of tourism in Cornwall most likely died as a result of exposure to asbestos at his business, an inquest heard.

Soterios “Chris” Christopheros passed away in Cyprus last November after a short illness linked to possible asbestos poisoning. He was 70 years old.

He was born in Chelsea in London of a Cypriot family but spent much of his working life in Cornwall with the family hotel business Cranstar. He ran hotels and holiday parks from 1965 to 2000 and was a prominent and well-known businessman.

A former Newquay town councillor, Mr Christopheros stood for elections as a Liberal Democrat candidate with Restormel Borough Council and was instrumental in securing CCTV for Newquay.

In 1998, Mr Christopheros saved the life of a young boy who was found wandering in the road in Rejerrah, near Newquay, during rush hour. He stopped his car across the road and scooped up the toddler who had wandered from a nearby house. The boy was safely reunited with his mother.

He was also the organiser of the former Newquay VW festival Run to the Sun, which was based at his Trevelgue Holiday Park in Porth.

In 2000 Mr Christopheros moved to Cyprus where he lived for the past 17 years.

The inquest in Truro on Friday (April 13) heard that Mr Christopheros complained of shortness of breath in May last year. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a condition linked to exposure to asbestos, and, after a period of hospital treatment, passed away in Cyprus in November.

As a UK citizen, details of his death were shared with the coroners’ court in Cornwall which resulted in the inquest in Truro.

Coroner Emma Carlyon said it was “more likely than not” that his death was linked to exposure to asbestos during his working life in the hotel industry. She recorded a death of natural causes as a result of industrial disease.