Shaw explosion: Man in court over boy's manslaughter

Jamie Heaton
Image caption Jamie Heaton, two, was killed in the explosion in June

A man has appeared in court charged with the manslaughter of a two-year-old boy killed in a suspected gas explosion in Greater Manchester.

Jamie Heaton died as he watched TV at his home in Buckley Street, Shaw, on 26 June. The blast destroyed two houses.

Andrew Partington, who lived next door, is also charged with causing criminal damage put at £1.2m to homes.

He appeared via videolink at Manchester Crown Court and was remanded in custody to reappear there on 21 November.

Greater Manchester Police said no further action would be taken against a 32-year-old man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

The man, who was arrested in London, had previously inspected a boiler in the house where the explosion happened.

Homes evacuated

Police were called to Buckley Street where two houses, number nine and number 11, were destroyed in the explosion at about 11:15 BST. Six others were demolished later because of the damage.

Mr Partington, 27, suffered 40% burns and a broken back in the blast. He was recently brought out of a coma at Wythenshawe Hospital.

He appeared via videolink during the brief hearing and spoke only to confirm his name and state he could hear the judge and counsel.

Jamie was in the living room of his home at number 11 when the explosion took place.

The toddler's mother, Michelle Heaton, was also at home but survived as she had gone into the back yard to hang out her washing.

About 175 homes were evacuated immediately after the incident.

Six homes are still being assessed by structural engineers and insurance loss adjusters to decide whether or not they will need to be demolished.

A distress fund set up to support those affected by the explosion has so far raised £285,000.

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