1. ITV Report

Man admits manslaughter of Oldham blast toddler

Andrew Partington Photo:

A man has admitted killing a two-year-old boy after a massive gas in Oldham.

Andrew Partington, an unemployed father of six, also admitted eight charges of destroying neighbouring houses in the blast on Buckley Street, Shaw on June 26.

The 27 year old lived next door to Jamie Heaton, described by his family as a "happy, loving little boy." He'd been watching children's TV in the lounge, with his father Kenny out at work and mother Michelle doing housework.

The explosion "obliterated" Partington's rented terrace house and two neighbouring homes, with the rest of the row and surrounding streets also left devastated.

Shocked neighbours searched the wreckage, finding the youngster's body in the debris.

Devastation caused by blast. Credit: ITV Granada

Partington, who was seriously injured in the incident and spent weeks in a coma, appeared at Manchester Crown Court by videolink from jail.

The boy's parents, Mr and Mrs Heaton, sat in the public gallery holding hands for the brief hearing. Partington spoke only to confirm his name and that he could hear proceedings by video link from HMP Forest Bank in Salford.

Jamie Heaton killed in blast

The defendant was asked to enter his pleas to the charges and answered "guilty" to each one, the single count of manslaughter and the eight charges of destroying property - the houses on Buckley Street in Shaw, numbers 9, 11, 1, 3, 5, 7, 13 and 15.

Partington was told by Judge Andrew Gilbart QC that there was only one possible sentence for such offences - jail - and he remanded Partington in custody until February 11 when he will be sentenced.