The accidental revenge of a jilted boyfriend that killed a two-year-old boy
Andrew Partington cut the gas pipes in his Oldham home after his girlfriend left with their children
A man who killed his neighbour’s two-year-old son when he blew up his home in a gas explosion has been jailed for 10 years.
Andrew Partington, 28, devastated a row of terraced houses in Oldham last year after his girlfriend left him and took their children with her. Police officers who arrived at the house after the explosion described it like a “scene from a war zone”.
The night before the blast on 26 June, Partington had cut two gas pipes in the house he shared with Tania Williams and sent her a series of text messages threatening to destroy the building.
After letting the property fill with gas overnight, Partington changed his mind when he awoke in the morning, Manchester Crown Court heard. But not long after cutting off the gas supply and opening the windows he lit a cigarette, causing the explosion.
Jamie Heaton, a toddler who was watching TV next door, was killed. His mother survived the blast because she had gone outside into the garden to hang up some washing.
Partington, who has six children, was rescued by emergency services. He suffered 40 per cent burns and a broken back.
During the trial, the court heard how Partington had sent a series of text messages to Ms Williams after drunkenly cutting the gas pipes in the home that they shared.
He wrote: “So I guess I have to show you what you meant to me. Never cheated on you. Always loved you. Get f***ed now. Goodbye.”
In the next message, he said: “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.”
Adam Roxborough, defending, said Partington had not intended to light the gas. “When he lit the cigarette it was not a deliberate attempt to ignite the gas. That desire had come and gone since he had slept,” he said.
Sentencing Partington, Mr Justice Hamblen said: “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.”
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”. He added: “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.”
Partington had earlier pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Jamie’s parents, Kenny and Michelle Heaton, watched the proceedings in the court. In a statement following the sentencing, they paid tribute to their “beautiful, healthy and loving little boy”. They said: “We often wondered what the future would hold for Jamie and his achievements. His great-grandma said he was a ‘genius’. Unfortunately, we will never find out.”
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO's one simple test for who to hire
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Saudi Arabia executions now at 'unprecedented rate' after kingdom kills four more in two days
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 4 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 5 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother