A FAMILY have paid tribute to a “fantastic father and fiancee” who was accidentally electrocuted while removing asbestos from the roof of a Gwent school.

James Paul, known as “Jamie”, died at Cwmcarn High School on July 19, 2013 while preparing to remove the toxic material by encasing areas in polythene sheeting — a process used to prevent any asbestos being left behind.

While a post mortem examination recorded the Abertillery father's cause of death as electrocution, a forensic scientist was unable to determine how this had happened.

An inquest into the 26-year-old's death concluded today with a jury returning the verdict of accidental death caused by “unintentionally cutting the cable.”

Speaking after the inquest, his family described him as a “giant of a man [...] who was very popular with friends and family and loved by all”.

“Jamie was 6ft 4in and his fiancée Emily just over 5ft and he was always making a joke of it at her expense. They were like a little and large double act,” they said.

“He was very loveable person and it has been very hard over the past three years being without him, they say it gets easier with time, but we can categorically say that it does not.”

They added: “The birth of his son Kingsley was the making of him and he turned into a fantastic father and fiancée very much a family man.

“We have always explained to Kingsley and the other grandchildren that Jamie has died and gone to the moon. Every night they say good night to him when the moon is out.

“Kingsley believes that his dad will be back one day on a rocket as he says that is what the astronauts do.

“It is very hard and we have to keep reminding Kingsley that his dad won’t be coming home.”

On Monday, June 27, a jury at Mr Paul’s inquest heard evidence from several colleagues including Christopher Hamer who was working alongside the father on the day of the incident.

Mr Hamer stated that both of them had raised concerns that the building’s electrics had not been properly isolated after seeing CCTV screens operating in a room near where they were working.

Senior coroner for Gwent, David Bowen, also read a statement from the site manager David Bennett during evidence, who said the state of the electrics at the site was “shocking”.

Summing up on Tuesday, June 28, Mr Bowen directed the jury to consider the death as one of accidental or misadventure cause.

He noted that the 26-year-old was a “trained and experienced asbestos operator” and had the relevant certificates.

“Mr Paul would have been aware that one of the cables must have been live as one of the television monitors was on in the building,” he said.

“He was not a novice, was experienced at the job at hand according to (colleague) Mr Hamer, he was a steady and reliable worker.”

“His common sense would have told him of the dangers of cutting the cable”.

Mr Paul’s grave has become known by his family as “Jamie’s garden" and the family regularly visit to keep it neat and tidy.

His family added: “It is a place where we spend time to talk about the good times and remember Jamie for the wonderful person that he truly was.

“There is not a day goes by that we do not think or talk about him.”