‘Justice was all he ever wanted’: Devoted campaigner and dad infected with hepatitis C during contaminated blood scandal dies

A devoted campaigner who was infected with hepatitis C during the contaminated blood scandal has died.

Peter Mossman never gave up his fight for justice for the 4,689 people with bleeding disorders, who were infected with HIV and hepatitis viruses during the 1970s and 80s.

The dad, and grandad from Wythenshawe, contracted the virus in his 40s after being given a contaminated blood product which was supposed to help treat his haemophilia.

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It is thought more than 3,000 people infected have since died and of the 1,243 people who contracted HIV, less than 250 are still alive.

Mr Mossman was one of the first people to set up a campaign – called the Manor House Group, in his bid for those responsible to take accountability for the scandal.

After having to leave his job as a coach driver, he devoted much of the remaining 35 years of his life campaigning for a public inquiry, which began in 2017 and is still ongoing today.

He sadly died on December 17 last year, aged 78, before he could see the inquiry conclude.

Peter Mossman

Mr Mossman’s son, Gareth, said his father’s life ‘completely changed’ after being given the devastating news that he had hepatitis C.

“He had to give up his work and he became obsessed with getting justice for everyone,” Gareth said, speaking to the Manchester Evening News.

“My dad also became quite obsessed with understanding the condition he had been infected with.

“It was really quite sad because he stopped being affectionate with us and my mum and he used to wash his hands with bleach.

“He stopped socialising for quite a long time. For quite a number of years he was really affected by it.”

Gareth said his dad spent the next three decades campaigning for a public inquiry into the scandal, and even used one of the bedrooms in their small council house to store his files.

Fellow campaigner, Carol Grayson, whose late husband was infected with HIV, described Peter as a ‘brave, stoical, funny and a true friend.’

In a tribute written for the Haemophilia Society, she said his greatest achievement was founding the Manor House Group in 1984, along with his friend Peter Hughes, who was co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C.

“He actively worked with the media, contributed to documentaries and engaged the political support of his MP, the late Lord Alf Morris, as well as the late Paul Goggins MP,” she wrote.

“Peter worked hard to educate Paul on the history of the contaminated blood scandal, Paul in turn communicated this to the then Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham, who became an advocate for the haemophilia community.”

Friends of Peter Mossman said he had a great sense of humour

Speaking to the M.E.N, she described Peter as a ‘strong campaigner’ who kept going when many gave up.

“He had a great sense of humour. He was very funny,” she said.

“Peter always had a twinkle in his eye and was always immaculately dressed.

“He was very kind. He could be very forceful when he needed to but he was also very compassionate.

“When many of us gave up he kept on going. He was a very brave man and because of his efforts many other people stand to benefit.”

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In 2017 Prime Minister Theresa May announced that a statutory public inquiry would be held into the contaminated blood scandal.

Since that announcement, it is thought more than 100 people infected and affected by the scandal have died. Many more will die before the inquiry concludes.

Following the loss of his wife in 2018, Peter developed dementia and was unable to take an active role in the inquiry due to his health.

He died peacefully on December 17 after developing pneumonia.

Gareth said hepatitis C was mentioned on his dad’s death certificate but was not listed as a cause of death.

Peter’s funeral will take place on February 3 at Altrincham Crematorium at 3.15pm, and his family are encouraging anyone who knew him to attend.

Peter with his late wife Alison

“He knew and helped so many people so I want the service to be packed. He deserves it,” Gareth said.

“He was such a popular guy and did so much for so many people.

“My dad did everything for all of us – for the kids and his grandchildren. He never stopped. We didn’t have a lot growing up but everything he had he gave to us.

“Before he got dementia his main thing was knowing that he’d got justice. Knowing how the inquiry has turned out so far – he’d be over the moon with that.”

No compensation has ever been paid to victims of the contaminated blood scandal in the UK.

The public inquiry into the scandal, which began in 2017, was established to examine the circumstances in which men, women and children treated by the NHS were given infected blood and infected blood products.

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