Heysham explosion: Man jailed for killing boy, 2, in gas blaston October 5, 2022 at 12:44 pm

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Two-year-old George Hinds was killed in the Heysham blast caused by Darren Greenham cutting a gas pipe.

George Arthur HindsImage source, Family handout

A man who cut a gas pipe to sell for scrap, causing a blast in which a two-year-old boy died, has been jailed.

Darren Greenham used an angle grinder to cut the pipe at his home on Mallowdale Avenue in Heysham, Lancashire, in May 2021.

The subsequent explosion killed George Hinds, whose family lived next door.

Greenham, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, damaging a gas meter and theft of gas, was sentenced to 15 years in jail at Preston Crown Court.

The court heard the explosion, which happened at about 02:35 BST on 16 May 2021, destroyed the council-owned property where Greenham lived.

It left two neighbouring terraced houses severely damaged and a further 55 properties in the area were also affected.

Darren Greenham mugshot

Image source, Police handout

Greenham had cut a gas pipe in his own house and planned to steal the pipework and the gas meter was also found to have been bypassed in order to steal gas, Lancashire Police said.

Detectives said he was intent on selling the cut pipes for scrap metal and had boasted to witnesses that he would make £400 to buy a car.

Two houses collapsed and many others were damaged

Sentencing him, Recorder of Preston Judge Robert Altham said he was a “selfish and disruptive neighbour”.

“He lived his life without regard for the comfort of those who were unfortunate enough to live adjacent to him.”

Lancashire Police tweeted that Greenham was a “truly selfish and wicked man” whose main motivation in the build-up to the fatal explosion was “financial greed”.

“His reckless actions caused the death of a completely innocent toddler, destruction to several homes and £100,000 worth of damage,” it added.

“No sentence will ever make up for the loss of George’s life or reflect the pain and misery Darren has caused.

“No-one should put their child to bed at night, in a place of safety, and not be able to see them alive again.”

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