Man jailed for fatal gas blast

Andrew Partington, who blew up his house in a massive gas blast that killed his two-year-old next-door neighbour Jamie Heaton, was jailed for ten years at Manchester Crown Court.

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Man jailed over gas blast that killed toddler in Oldham

A man who blew up his house in a massive gas blast that killed his two-year-old next-door neighbour was jailed for ten years today.

The explosion obliterated the rented home of Andrew Partington and neighbouring terrace houses in Shaw, Oldham, last June.

The body of toddler Jamie Heaton was found in the wreckage.

Partington, 28, pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court in November to manslaughter and eight charges of destroying houses in the blast in Buckley Street on June 26.

ITV News' Martin Geissler reports:

Police Constable: Finding toddler dead 'still haunts me'

The first police officer to attend the scene where two-year-old toddler Jamie Heaton died in a gas explosion has described the incident as "absolute devastation".

I, along with a number of colleagues, was first to arrive following the gas blast.

The scene that greeted us was one of absolute devastation and we quickly identified Jamie’s mum, Michelle, who was shell shocked and in a state of panic.

As soon as we learnt that Jamie was inside we went in, through the rubble, to look for him.

As a police officer it is second nature for me to act instinctively. It is something that I did on this occasion. I was not thinking about anything other than Jamie.

Tragically I found him dead inside and this is something that still haunts me. Despite our best efforts we could not free him from the rubble at that time and I just wish the outcome had been different for him and his family.

I hope they have found some comfort now Andrew Partington has been sentenced and my thoughts and sympathies remain with them.

– Police Constable Paul Darlington

Read: More on the Oldham man who has been jailed for ten years after a gas blast killed his two-year-old neighbour.

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Distress fund set up to support gas explosion residents

Oldham Council has set up a distress fund in the aftermath of the gas explosion which killed two-year-old toddler Jamie Heaton.

£300,000 has been donated so far, with £230,000 of the money raised going to residents whose homes have been affected by the blast.

Some 91 households have been helped by the fund to cope with the impact of the blast, said the council.

Read: More on the Oldham man who has been jailed for ten years after a gas blast killed his two-year-old neighbour.

Man jailed for Oldham blast that killed toddler

A man who killed a two-year-old boy when he blew up his house in a gas explosion has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Following a row with his girlfriend, Andrew Partington cut the gas pipes to his house, letting it fill with fumes. The ensuing blast killed Jamie Heaton who lived next door.

Sangeeta Kandola reports:

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Judge: Your reckless actions caused Jamie's death

The resulting scene of the devastation resembled a bomb site and in some senses it was. It was in effect a bomb that you created and detonated.

As a result of your reckless actions you have caused the death of Jamie. You have taken away his life and a large part of his parents and siblings' lives.

– Mr Justice Hamblen

The judge accepted it appeared that Partington had a change of heart in blowing up the house when he woke up the next day but said lighting a cigarette was "highly reckless".

"You were aware of the risk but you chose unreasonably to take that risk."

Partington 'drunkenly cut two gas pipes before blast'

Andrew Partington drunkenly cut two gas pipes in his house because his girlfriend had left him and taken their children, the court heard.

He sent a series of Blackberry instant messages to partner Ms Williams on the night before the explosion.

In one he wrote: "Told you next time you leave, house goes up with me. You left your kids with no dad no home. Goodbye. Boom. Gas pipes cut. Already filled up. Boom."

He let his house fill with gas overnight, but said he woke up and cut the gas supply and opened windows.

Partington then lit a cigarette, with devastating consequences.

Jamie's parents: 'Our lives have been torn apart'

A man who blew up his house in a massive gas blast that killed his two-year-old next-door neighbour - Jamie Heaton - has been jailed for 10 years - and will serve a further five on licence.

A statement released by Jamie's parents, Michelle and Kenny Heaton, says: "On 26th June last year our lives were torn apart, as were those of our families and neighbours. Our dear son Jamie was killed in an explosion which occurred at our next door neighbour's house.

Michelle and Kenny Heaton, the parents of two-year-old Jamie Heaton. Credit: Ron Lamb/Cavendish Press/PA Wire

"When we heard the tragic news that no parent would ever expect to hear, we wanted to believe there was a reasonable explanation for what happened.

Two-year-old Jamie Heaton died in the Oldham gas explosion last year. Credit: Greater Manchester Police/PA Wire

"As time went by and after extensive enquiries we have learned that the explosion was caused by a selfish and deliberate criminal act. The fact that the act was deliberate and totally avoidable has made the grieving ever harder to manage."

Man jailed after toddler killed in Oldham gas blast

A man who blew up his house in a massive gas blast that killed his two-year-old next-door neighbour has been jailed for 10 years - and will serve a further five on licence.

The explosion obliterated the rented home of Andrew Partington and neighbouring terrace houses in Shaw, Oldham, last June.

Andrew Partington. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

The body of toddler Jamie Heaton was found in the wreckage.Partington pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court in November to manslaughter and eight charges of destroying houses in the blast in Buckley Street on June 26.

Jamie had been watching television in the lounge while his mother was doing housework and his father was out at work.He lived at 11 Buckley Street with his parents Kenny and Michelle, next door to Partington at number 9 and his partner, Tania Williams, and their children.

Two-year-old Jamie Heaton died in the gas explosion in Oldham. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Partington and Ms Williams had a stormy relationship, according to locals, with police being called to one bust-up. Neighbours said there was another row the night before the blast and Partington had been drinking. The next day, at around 11.20am, the gas ignited.

Partington survived and was rescued by the emergency services.He spent weeks in hospital and still suffers from injuries sustained in the blast.The cost of damage to the houses and surrounding streets has been estimated at around £1.2 million.

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