An English man who blew up his home after his girlfriend left him has been jailed for manslaughter, after his two-year-old neighbour was killed in the blast.
Manchester father-of-six Andrew Partington, 28, sent his girlfriend Tania Williams text messages on June 26 last year, threatening to destroy the family home after she left him and took their children.
"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," one of the messages read.
The court heard Partington, who had been drinking when he sent the messages, then had a change of heart and decided not to blow up the house.
The next day he cut the gas supply and opened windows to air out the house.
He then absent-mindedly decided to have a cigarette, igniting the gas when he lit it up and sparking a blast that caused over $1.7 million in damage.
His young neighbour, Jamie Heaton, was watching television in a neighbouring home and was killed in the explosion.
A number of houses in the street were also destroyed.
Partington, who suffered burns to forty percent of his body, was sentenced to 10 years in jail this week after pleading guilty to manslaughter and eight charges of destroying homes at Manchester Crown Court in November.
Justice Hamblem said in his sentencing remarks that he accepted Partington had changed his mind about destroying the home but acted recklessly when he chose to light a cigarette.
"You were aware of the risk but you chose unreasonably to take that risk," he said.
"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."
Author: Martin Zavan, Approving editor: Fiona Willan