Man charged over suspected gas explosion in Manchester

 

A man has been charged with the manslaughter of a two-year-old boy in a suspected gas explosion which flattened a number of homes.

Jamie Heaton died in the blast while watching TV in his home in Shaw, Oldham, on June 26.

Andrew Partington, 27, who was injured in the incident, has been charged with manslaughter and causing criminal damage worth more than £1 million.

He is due to appear at Oldham Magistrates' Court today, said Greater Manchester Police.

Partington suffered burns in the explosion in Buckley Street and was recently brought out of a coma at the hospital where he was treated.

The seat of the blast was at his rented terrace house, which was next door to the home of Jamie and his parents, Kenny and Michelle.

Following Jamie's death, they paid tribute to "our little man" who was "a happy, little boy, mischievous and full of laughter".

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "Andrew Partington, formerly of Buckley Street, Shaw, is charged with manslaughter and criminal damage and is due to appear at Oldham Magistrates' Court this afternoon."

Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS north west area Nazir Afzal said: "I have today advised Greater Manchester Police to charge Andrew Partington with the manslaughter of Jamie Heaton, aged two, and causing criminal damage valued at over £1 million to houses in Buckley Street, Shaw, Oldham, on June 26 2012.

"Police were called to the scene of a gas explosion in Buckley Street at around 11.15am where two houses, number nine and number 11, were destroyed in the blast and other homes damaged.

"The seat of the blast was in number nine and Jamie, who was in the living room of his home at number 11 watching television, died as a result of the explosion. I would like to express my sympathy to Mr and Mrs Heaton on their tragic loss.

"After considering the evidence, I am satisfied there is sufficient to charge Andrew Partington with manslaughter and criminal damage. The decision was taken in accordance with the code for Crown prosecutors."

A 32-year-old man, a gas fitter who is believed to have examined the boiler at Mr Partington's home days before the explosion, remains on police bail pending further inquiries.

PA

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