A man who triggered a gas explosion after a row with his girlfriend is sentenced for the manslaughter of the baby next door.
Andrew Partington admitted that it was his fault and responsibility of the child’s deaths. When the gas explosion took place, Jamie Heaton (2 years old baby)was trapped under his collapsed house.
Jamie Heaton was crushed to death under the weight of falling rubble. The man who caused the blast and killed the toddler has been jailed for 10 years.
It is believed Partington, who lived next door, had cut his own gas pipes following a row with his partner, Tania Williams.
Manchester Crown Court heard Partington was often violent towards her and the night before the explosion she had left with their five children and gone to stay with relatives in Rochdale.
The court heard Partington then sent Ms Williams messages from his Blackberry, including one at 11.31pm which read: “Told u next time u live me house go. Whith me u left your kids with no dad no home good-bye boom gas pipe cut allredy fild up boom.”
Andrew Menary QC told the court there was a “massive explosion” at 11.15am on June 26 last year which was the result of the ignition of gas which had built up over more than 11 hours.
The court heard the explosion “obliterated” Partington’s house on Buckley Street and the Heaton’s home next door.
Police observed debris falling from the sky. When they arrived on Buckley Street they said the destruction was like a “scene from a warzone”.
Partington suffered 39% burns in the explosion and spent several weeks in hospital. He also admitted destroying eight homes. The total cost of his damage is reached to several millions of pounds.
When he was arrested Partington accepted he had been drinking heavily before the explosion and accepted he could have cut the gas pipes but told police his intention would have been to harm himself and no-one else.
The court was told we will never know whether the gas was ignited deliberately or whether it was done accidentally, by the lighting of a cigarette.
Adam Roxborough, defending, said Partington was truly sorry and had written “if he could give his life to bring Jamie back he would”.
Jamie’s parents, Kenny and Michelle, were in court to see their former neighbour jailed and wept as the details of what happened were read out.
Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s hearing they described their devastation at losing their beloved son, as well as “everything” they owned.