Tayside and Central Scotland

Man caused Dundee tenement gas explosion

Christopher Jones Image copyright PPA
Image caption Christopher Jones started a fire in his flat after causing gas to build up

A man who deliberately caused a gas explosion in a block of flats in Dundee has been remanded in custody.

Christopher Jones started a fire in his Park Avenue property after causing gas to build up for several days in April.

Perth Sheriff Court was told residents of eight flats were evacuated as a result.

Jones, 42, of Perth, will be sentenced later in June after admitting causing the explosion.

He also admitted a charge of stalking a woman at her home and various locations.

The court was told that Jones had attempted to take his own life by causing the explosion after losing his sight.

Depute fiscal Nicola Gillespie said gas engineers had been called to the premises several times after neighbours reported leaks.

'Flat exploded'

She said: "There was an explosion and smoke could be seen. All the residents were evacuated.

"The accused was topless, wearing jeans and covered in soot.

"He had burns to his face, hands and neck.

"He said he had been sitting on the toilet when he lit a cigarette and the flat exploded."

Miss Gillespie said a joint investigation discovered a fire had been started deliberately in the bedroom and that Jones was not in the room when it exploded, as he would have been unlikely to survive the blast.

The fiscal said that the repair bill for each flat ran to "tens of thousands of pounds".

Solicitor David Holmes, defending, said: "He lost his sight and it has significantly deteriorated in the last year and he has found it difficult to adjust."

Sheriff William Wood remanded Jones in custody and deferred sentence for social work and psychiatric reports.

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