Pascal Blasio, 57, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of causing an explosion likely to endanger life.

The businessman blew up his furniture shop, in New Ferry, in March 2017.

His conviction followed a three-week trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

He was also found guilty of fraud in relation to an insurance claim submitted after the incident.

As a result of the blast over 80 people were injured and damage was caused to over 60 homes, shops and businesses in the town centre.

New Ferry blast site following gas explosion at furniture store Credit: ITV Granada

In passing sentence His Honour Judge Thomas Teague QC said:

This was a complex, difficult and somewhat sensitive case, and I commend the police and the fire service for the diligent and painstaking way in which they carried it out.

Judge Thomas Teague QC

He also commended the two investigating officers along with the investigating fire officer.

Assistant Chief Constable Natalie Perischine, said:

Blasio has brazenly continued to deny his involvement in the explosion which has totally devastated the lives of dozens of people and had a huge and lasting impact on the community of New Ferry. I hope that today means the people of New Ferry can now start to draw a line under that night and start to rebuild their lives knowing that Blasio will spend a considerable amount of time paying for his greedy and selfish actions in prison.

Assistant Chief Constable Natalie Perischine

Watch Rachel Townsend's report here: