Gardener killed by toxic bacteria in his hosepipe: Grandfather, 63, dies after catching Legionnaires’ disease while cleaning his terrace

  • Stephen Clements, 63, from Cromer, inhaled toxic bacteria from stagnant water
  • His wife, Alison, 61, said: ‘We had no idea that a garden hose could be so lethal’
  • North Norfolk District Council asked by Public Health England to investigate

A widow has warned the public to be wary of their hose pipes after her husband died of Legionnaires’ disease thought to have been contracted by working in the garden.

Stephen Clements, a grandfather, from Cromer, Norfolk, inhaled toxic bacteria which had grown in stagnant water within the pipe.

The 63-year-old died a week later at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on February 24.

Now, the former builder’s wife, Alison, is cautioning others about the dangers of the disease, so that other families do not face the same tragedy as her own.

North Norfolk District Council has been asked by Public Health England to investigate what happened.

Mrs Clements said: ‘Stephen had cleaned the patio earlier in the year and left the hose out across the lawn filled with water.

‘In the winter sun, it was the perfect temperature for the bacteria to breed.

‘He was cleaning the terrace with a stiff broom and the garden hose on spray.

‘The sweeping of the broom caused the perfect aerosol, which my husband then breathed into his lungs.

‘My husband had a heart condition but was active and well. He began having symptoms, which appeared to be an upset stomach to start with but rapidly developed into pneumonia.’

The mother-of-two added: ‘I didn’t believe them when they said he might not make it.

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