Man who caused explosion worth £260k while making cannabis oil jailed

A cannabis farmer responsible for an explosion that left his block of flats in ruins has been sentenced to more than eight years in jail.

James Toogood, 36, owned a dozen of butane gas canisters that caused damage worth an estimated £260,000 to four properties.

Jurors were told the butane gas was used in the production of cannabis hash oil, which Toogood carried out at his home in Hatcliffe, Bristol.

The explosion ripped through the block of flats, forcing one neighbour to jump to safety onto a trampoline in a garden nearby.

Footage of the aftermath of the incident was shown to the jury during the nine-day trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Toogood was convicted of one count of arson where life was endangered, and pleaded guilty to the production of a class B drug.

Laura Hawkins, 39, of the same address, was handed a 15-month prison sentence for permitting the production of a class B drug at her flat.

Detective Constable Lee Townsend, of Avon and Somerset police, said: "James Toogood's reckless actions put not only his life, but innovent neighbours' live at risk.

"It is only throuhg luck that his dangerous activities did not cause a fatality.

"A substantial amount of damage was done to the property in Whitchurch Lane and the shocking photographic in the immediate aftermath are a testament of how serious the incident was.

"I am pleased that the seriousness of this offence has been reflected in the sentence handed out to him."

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