A man has admitted killing a two-year-old boy after he cut the gas pipes in his house causing a massive explosion.

Andrew Partington, 27, an unemployed father-of-six, let his house in Shaw, Oldham, fill with gas overnight.

The ensuing explosion "obliterated" Partington's rented terrace house and two neighbouring homes, with the rest of the row and surrounding streets also left devastated.

oldham explosion

The scene was described as looking like a war zone by residents


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.

Shocked neighbours searched the wreckage, finding the youngster's body in the debris.

Partington, who was seriously injured in the incident, appeared at Manchester Crown Court by videolink from jail today.

He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and eight charges of destroying neighbouring houses in the blast on Buckley Street, Shaw, Oldham, on June 26.

shaw explosion

A view of the street after the blast


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 proccedings by video link from HMP Forest Bank in Salford.

Partington, who wore a white T-shirt covered by a light blue bib, kept his head down for most of the hearing.

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.

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  • Oldham explosion

    A police officer places flowers inside a cordon close to the scene of a suspected gas blast in Buckley Street in the Shaw area of Oldham, Greater Manchester, in which two-year-old Jamie Heaton was killed and Anthony Partington, 27, was left with life-threatening burns after three terraced homes were reduced to rubble.

  • Emergency services personnel gather in the Shaw area of Oldham, in north-west England, on June 26, 2012, following a large explosion. There is currently no confirmation on the number of casualties or homes damaged. (Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Emergency services personnel gather in the Shaw area of Oldham, in north-west England, on June 26, 2012, following a large explosion. There is currently no confirmation on the number of casualties or homes damaged. (Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Search and rescue teams work at the scene of an explosion in Oldham, Greater Manchester on June 26, 2012 in Shaw, England. A child has died, one person is un-accounted for and one man has suffered eighty percent burns in the explosion which has destroyed two terraced houses. According to reports there was a 'gas escape' at 10:40. (Photo credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • A broken window in a house in the Shaw area of Oldham after a suspected gas explosion. (Photo credit: PA)

  • Fireman at the scene of a suspected gas explosion in the Shaw area of Oldham. (Photo credit: PA

  • (Photo courtesy of @amberrlaurenx/Twitter)

  • (Photo courtesy of Stuart Littleford, Saddleworth News.)

  • In this photograph taken by local resident Adam Pollard, rubble is strewn at the scene of an explosion in Oldham on June 26, 2012 in Shaw, England. A child has died, one person is un-accounted for and one man has suffered eighty percent burns in the explosion which has destroyed two terraced houses. According to reports there was a 'gas escape' at 10:40. (Photo by Adam Pollard/Getty Images)

  • Broken tiles and debris rest on roofs at the site of an explosion in Oldham, Greater Manchester on June 26, 2012 in Shaw, England. A child has died, one person is un-accounted for and one man has suffered eighty percent burns in the explosion which has destroyed two terraced houses. According to reports there was a 'gas escape' at 10:40. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Aerial picture of the scene of the gas explosion which has flattened three houses on Buckley Street in the Shaw area of Oldham, Greater Manchester (Tuesday 26th June 2012). Police have confirmed that a young child has died and a man has been taken to hospital suffering from significant burns. Efforts are ongoing to establish whether any other people are trapped. Cavendish Press

  • Aerial picture of the scene of the gas explosion which has flattened three houses on Buckley Street in the Shaw area of Oldham, Greater Manchester (Tuesday 26th June 2012). Police have confirmed that a young child has died and a man has been taken to hospital suffering from significant burns. Efforts are ongoing to establish whether any other people are trapped. Cavendish Press

  • Aerial picture of the scene of the gas explosion which has flattened three houses on Buckley Street in the Shaw area of Oldham, Greater Manchester (Tuesday 26th June 2012). Police have confirmed that a young child has died and a man has been taken to hospital suffering from significant burns. Efforts are ongoing to establish whether any other people are trapped. Cavendish Press

  • Aerial picture of the scene of the gas explosion which has flattened three houses on Buckley Street in the Shaw area of Oldham, Greater Manchester (Tuesday 26th June 2012). Police have confirmed that a young child has died and a man has been taken to hospital suffering from significant burns. Efforts are ongoing to establish whether any other people are trapped. Cavendish Press

  • Aerial picture of the scene of the gas explosion which has flattened three houses on Buckley Street in the Shaw area of Oldham, Greater Manchester (Tuesday 26th June 2012). Police have confirmed that a young child has died and a man has been taken to hospital suffering from significant burns. Efforts are ongoing to establish whether any other people are trapped. Cavendish Press

  • Aerial picture of the scene of the gas explosion which has flattened three houses on Buckley Street in the Shaw area of Oldham, Greater Manchester (Tuesday 26th June 2012). Police have confirmed that a young child has died and a man has been taken to hospital suffering from significant burns. Efforts are ongoing to establish whether any other people are trapped.Cavendish Press

  • Aerial picture of the scene of the gas explosion which has flattened three houses on Buckley Street in the Shaw area of Oldham, Greater Manchester (Tuesday 26th June 2012). Police have confirmed that a young child has died and a man has been taken to hospital suffering from significant burns. Efforts are ongoing to establish whether any other people are trapped. Cavendish Press

  • Aerial picture of the scene of the gas explosion which has flattened three houses on Buckley Street in the Shaw area of Oldham, Greater Manchester (Tuesday 26th June 2012). Police have confirmed that a young child has died and a man has been taken to hospital suffering from significant burns. Efforts are ongoing to establish whether any other people are trapped. Cavendish Press

  • Oldham explosion

    A forensic officer (left) arrives close to the scene of a suspected gas blast in Buckley Street in the Shaw area of Oldham, Greater Manchester, in which two-year-old Jamie Heaton was killed and Anthony Partington, 27, was left with life-threatening burns after three terraced homes were reduced to rubble.

  • Oldham explosion

    A damaged car sits amongst debris on Oak Street close to the scene of a suspected gas blast in Buckley Street in the Shaw area of Oldham, Greater Manchester, in which two-year-old Jamie Heaton was killed and Anthony Partington, 27, was left with life-threatening burns after three terraced homes were reduced to rubble.

  • Oldham explosion

    Fireman at the scene of a suspected gas explosion in the Shaw area of Oldham.

  • Oldham explosion

    Flowers inside a cordon close to the scene of a suspected gas blast in Buckley Street in the Shaw area of Oldham, Greater Manchester, in which two-year-old Jamie Heaton was killed and Anthony Partington, 27, was left with life-threatening burns after three terraced homes were reduced to rubble.