A drunken dad “blew up” his own home in a gas explosion while children were in the house following a row with his partner.
Clinton Parren, 43, from Wythenshaw, put a gas canister ‘barely bigger than a can of coke’ on a hob in the kitchen before turning the hob on causing a huge explosion.
The terraced house’s windows were blown out, doors came off their hinges and ceilings were lifted from their mounts as the blast sparked “extreme chaos” and “sheer panic” shortly after midnight on December 30 last year.
Miraculously Parren, his partner, 32, and the three children in the property all escaped unharmed, reports Manchester Evening News.
Parren, a joiner who had also taken cocaine, had fallen asleep on the sofa by the time the explosion rocked the property.
“He’s blew the house up, he’s blew the f ** house up,” Parren’s partner said, as neighbours heard screaming coming from the house.
Parren, 43, and his partner, 32, at the time of the explosion, had been drinking when a row broke out after he started to say she might leave him for a younger man.
Manchester Crown Court heard he had a ‘persistent insecurity’ because she was younger than him. The couple had been together for ten years.
His family remain ‘extremely supportive’ but ‘can’t believe’ what he did.
“Your behaviour was reckless, dangerous and dreadful,” a judge told Parren, jailing him for three-and-a-half years.
Prosecutors told how on December 29, the family had been to a Go Outdoors shop and had bought a gas stove and four gas canisters.
Parren said he would use them to cook soup in the garden for a ‘fun’ activity with their children during the pandemic.
He told his partner he’d stored them in the shed.
That night, a friend of their daughter came to stay, while their boy went upstairs to play computer games.
With the children upstairs, Parren and his partner started drinking, until he started saying she might leave him for a younger man.
She went upstairs to her son’s bedroom, Parren followed but she told him to leave.
He went downstairs and took one of the gas canisters, marked as being ‘extremely flammable’, placing it on a cooker hob before turning it on.
The gas canister was later found embedded in the ceiling.
There was ‘extreme chaos’ and ‘sheer panic’ in the wake of the blast, prosecutor David Pojur said.
His partner woke up with her ‘ears ringing’.
Parren told her: “It’s alright, I’ll sort it, don’t worry.”
Neighbours heard screaming, and their son said: “I don’t want to get taken away from my mum.”
Parren told police that he’d been asleep downstairs on the sofa at the time of the explosion.
An officer said Parren appeared ‘calm’ during interview, but his barrister said it was because he was ‘stupefied’ by being drunk.
Defending, Gwen Henshaw said Parren did not foresee the extent of the damage which was caused, especially given the small size of the canister.
She said he is ‘haunted’ by the risk he put his family in.
Speaking about buying the gas canisters and stove, she said: “It was bought by him in an effort during the pandemic to try and entertain his children by engaging in fun camping activities in the garden.”
Parren, a joiner, had found work dried up during the pandemic and suffered depression, the court heard.
Ms Henshaw described the incident as being ‘wholly out of character’ for Parren, who was described as a ‘doting family man’.
His family are ‘extremely supportive’, and ‘concerned but critical’.
“They can’t believe what he has done,” Ms Henshaw said.
“But they are there as a support network going forward.
“They want him back, they are not going to get him back immediately.
“But when he does come back he is committed, not only being the father and husband he was, but to improve upon those aspects that have gone awry.”
Parren admitted causing an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.
After the hearing, DC Natalie Richardson, from GMP’s West Didsbury CID, said: “This was a reckless act that could have resulted in serious injuries, not only to Parren’s and his own family, but also to his neighbours.
“He caused substantial irreparable damage to the property and it is a surprising that this did not affect the neighbouring properties.”