Mansfield gas blast revenge man’s bid to blow up flat

Paul McCormack
Paul McCormack

A man who tampered with his home gas supply in an attempt to cause an explosion that could injure his neighbour has been jailed for a further 10 years.

Paul McCormack, 40, of no fixed address, was found guilty of attempting to damage or destroy property with intent to endanger life, following a trial at Nottingham Crown Court in December 2014.

On Monday 22 April 2013, McCormack left his old flat in Shirland Drive, Mansfield, to attend the first day of his trial for assaulting a man living in his block a year earlier.

It was prior to leaving home that McCormack is believed to have tampered with the boiler, causing gas to escape into his flat and ultimately the rest of the block.

He locked the flat up and, after a day in court, stayed at his sister’s house overnight. The following day, McCormack was found guilty of assault and was sent to prison.

The only keys to the flat were in his possession, as he had recently changed the locks.

By the morning of Thursday 25 April, gas could be smelt coming from McCormack’s address and the council and gas company were called to turn the supply off from the street.

With no keys, attending officers had to break into the flat, which is when they found the source of the gas leak – a newly fitted boiler that had been deliberately tampered with.

“We believe McCormack undid boiler fittings in a bid to cause an explosion,” said Sergeant Andy Doran from Mansfield South Neighbourhood Policing Team, who investigated the case.

“Angry at going to prison, we suspect he wanted to injure his neighbour in a fit of revenge.

“McCormack was reckless and failed to think about the safety of others. We are pleased that he is going to prison for such a substantial time – his actions could have had catastrophic results.”

At Nottingham Crown Court, McCormack was sentenced to serve an extended sentence of 15 years, comprising a custodial term of 10 years and an extension period on license of five years. The sentence will run concurrent to his current sentence for assault.He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120.