By James Orange • 15 March 2023 • 15:48
Image of house explosion
Credit: Telegram Ivan Federov
The High Court in Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland heard that Robert Russell, 60, deliberately caused a gas leak to take revenge on his upstairs neighbour, Bill Mazs, who had complained about noise, according to the Mail Online. When Mr Mazs switched on his cooker the next day, it ignited the fumes causing a blast that devastated their block in Whitburn, Scotland. The explosion sent Mr Mazs flying and engulfed him in a fireball. In terror, the 56-year-old attempted to douse himself in the shower before escaping into the street with his furry friend, Misty.
Describing the horror, neighbour David Agnew, 37, told The Sun: ‘I had just dropped my wee girl at school. I came home and had just got inside and the whole thing went up. ‘If I had been two minutes later I would have been standing right beside it and I’d be a goner. ‘Bill was standing at the end of the drive basically smoking — I don’t know how he got out that house alive.’
Mr Mazs was rushed to A&E suffered ‘severe injury, permanent disfigurement and permanent impairment’. He has since died – but his death is not related to the gas blast.
Russell has since pleaded guilty to endangering his neighbours’ lives by his reckless and culpable conduct, with Judge Lord Lake warning him: ‘A custodial sentence must be considered.’
The court heard that his plot was carried out with ‘utter disregard for the consequences for the property and his neighbours,’ prosecutor Bill McVicar KC said. In the weeks leading up to the incident, Russell had twice complained to West Lothian Council about the noise from his neighbour.
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