Man who caused huge gas blast in Goole given hospital order

  • The explosion was caught on dash cam by Jonathan Kirk

A court has heard it was a "miracle" no-one was seriously injured after a man caused a huge gas blast by tampering with a gas pipe.

Fifty-seven-year-old Wayne Vines used a spanner to disconnect the pipe on Marlborough Avenue, in Goole, East Yorkshire on 22 January.

It sparked an explosion which destroyed the terraced house and damaged neighbouring properties.

Hull Crown Court heard a neighbour awoke when the house began to shake as if a heavy lorry was being driven past. The room filled with smoke and dust and there was a hole in the bathroom wall to the outside.

Prosecutor Stephen Robinson said: "Some of the ceiling downstairs had collapsed.

"There was rubble on the pavement. The defendant crawled out."

Vines then wanted to return to the property to save his cats but was stopped by his neighbours.

He was outside in the street, in a confused and dazed state, the court heard. 

The building was caught up in flames. Credit: MEN Media

Vines told police the incident must have been caused by a gas leak and that he was worried about his cats.

The cost of the damage was estimated at £150,000.

Hull Crown Court heard he admitted arson after originally denying the offence, initially claiming that what happened was "not his intention".

He later confessed to pulling the pipe off the gas meter in a shoe cupboard and claimed that he had forgotten that he had a lit candle on a table.

Neighbours said they had not had any particular problems with him, apart from his previous "odd and antisocial" behaviour a couple of years earlier.

One was not insured and would have to cover the cost of the blast themselves, the court was told.

The fire service's response costs were more than £17,000. East Riding Council faced a £60,000, the court was told.

Nigel Clive, mitigating, said Vines had suffered problems and was living at a medium secure hospital, where he was receiving treatment.

Recorder Christopher Williams said it was a "miracle" that nobody was seriously injured when "multiple people were endangered".

"It's a matter of great fortune that, apart from the significant physical damage, nobody was physically hurt," he said.

Vines was given an indefinite hospital order, with restrictions in a secure hospital.

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