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28 November 2012, 18:35
A man has admitted killing a toddler after causing an explosion that ripped through several houses in Oldham.
27 year old Andrew Partington, an unemployed father of six, let his house in Shaw fill with gas overnight.
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 terrace house and two neighbouring homes, with the rest of the row and surrounding streets also left devastated.
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.
He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and eight charges of destroying neighbouring houses in the blast on Buckley Street, Shaw, Oldham, on June 26.
The boy's parents, Mr and Mrs Heaton, sat in the public gallery holding hands for the brief hearing. 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.