Man admits boy's gas blast death
A man has admitted killing a two-year-old boy in a massive gas blast after a row with his partner.
Andrew Partington, 27, an unemployed father of six, cut the pipes at his terraced house in Shaw, Oldham, flooding the property with deadly fumes which caused an explosion the following morning.
Next door Jamie Heaton, described by his family as a "happy, loving little boy", had been watching children's TV in the lounge, with his father Kenny out at work and mother Michelle doing housework.
The explosion "obliterated" Partington's rented home and two neighbouring homes, with the rest of the row and surrounding streets also left devastated. Jamie's lifeless body was found in the wreckage.
Neighbours spoke of Partington drinking and rowing with his partner in the hours before the blast devastated the street.
Partington, who was seriously injured in the incident, appeared at Manchester Crown Court by video link from jail. He pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Jamie and eight charges of destroying neighbouring houses in the blast on Buckley Street on June 26.
The boy's parents, Mr and Mrs Heaton, sat in the public gallery holding hands for the brief hearing. They were flanked by police officers and other members of their family, who wiped away tears as the defendant admitted his guilt.
Partington spoke only to confirm his name and that he could hear proceedings by video link from HMP Forest Bank in Salford. The defendant was asked to enter his pleas to the charges and answered "guilty" to each one, the single count of manslaughter and the eight charges of destroying property - the houses on Buckley Street in Shaw, numbers 9, 11, 1, 3, 5, 7, 13 and 15.
Partington was told by Judge Andrew Gilbart QC that there was only one possible sentence for such offences - jail - and he remanded Partington in custody until February 11 when he will be sentenced.
Partington survived the blast and was rescued by the emergency services. He spent weeks in hospital and still suffers from injuries sustained in the blast.