Mary Law began her campaign for justice for asbestos victims when her son died, aged 51, after a career working as an electrician in asbestos-ridden factories.

Since then she has been battling for greater compensation for the families of asbestos victims.

Mrs Law, 77, of Dudley, has taken the campaign to Italy, where a ruling against a firm that allegedly contributed to the death of hundreds of people was recently overturned.

After getting involved with the Mesothelioma UK charity, she became aware of the case against Swiss billionaire Stephan Schmidheiny, who is accused of failing to ensure the safety of workers in asbestos-cement plants run by his now defunct group Eternit in Italy in the 1970s and 80s after more than 3,000 of them died.

He was convicted, after a three-year trial, in 2012 and sentenced in absentia to 16 years in prison.

But a court in Rome has now ruled that he should not have been convicted of causing a health or environmental catastrophe because the verdict came more than 12 years after the crime – and was therefore subject to a ‘limitation’ law.

Mrs Law and fellow protesters waved banners and placards outside the court to raise awareness of their campaign. Mrs Law expressed her anger at the ruling and she is already planning to attend an appeal hearing in the case in the spring in Belgium.

She said: “I’m furious about what has happened and if I can afford to go to Belgium, I will.

“I’m very angry about the lack of support for the families of victims, and in this country the Government is not ensuring that people get enough compensation.

“My son had mesothelioma of the abdomen and he didn’t stand a chance. I just want to raise awareness and raise money, and I will continue as long as I can.”

Mrs Law raised £1,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support in 2011 by taking on a 10,000ft skydive, and soon after she opened the Arc- Aid charity shop in New Street, Dudley.

She said her son was ‘a strong, lovely man who had achieved much’ and said his death was ‘devastating’.

Mrs Law has also been working with construction trade union UCATT West Midlands regional officer Stuart Baker in the fight for greater compensation for families of asbestos victims.

Mesothelioma is a fatal disease with average survival rates of about nine months after diagnosis.

It is most common among those who worked in industries with heavy exposure to asbestos up to the 1980s, including construction, shipbuilding, engineering and power generation.

About 2,400 people die every year of the disease and numbers are set to increase over the next 30 years, with an estimated death toll of between 56,000 and 63,000.

If you or a family member have been affected by mesothelioma, please contact us today on Freephone 0800 294 3065, or talk to us on live chat where we will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.