A WIRRAL man who blew up his home in a huge gas explosion in a failed suicide bid was jailed for almost seven years today.
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Steven Adair, 37, cut the gas pipe in the lounge of his mid-terrace house and set fire to small piles of papers in four separate places in the room.
Adair, who had sent a warning text to a neighbour's girlfriend to get his children out shortly before the explosion, was found unconscious in the kitchen suffering from burns by another neighbour, who had bravely gone into the wreckage.
udge Robert Warnock told Adair that he was "dangerous" and extended his sentence by two extra years on licence.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that at the time of the horrific incident, just after midnight on January 25, Adair was on bail for sexually molesting a young boy on New Year's Day.
Joanne Maxwell, prosecuting, said that after Adair was originally arrested after he had sexually touched the boy over his clothing.
He said he had been too drunk to remember but that the boy was not a liar.
He was released on bail and, just minutes before the explosion at his home in Lucerne Road, Wallasey, he sent a text to Rachel Nolan, the girlfriend of his neighbour, John Robinson, saying, "I am sorry to say goodbye for ever."
He went on to say that he had cut the gas pipe and if he saw the police had been called he would blow his home up.
He said, "I don't want to kill anyone else" and told her to ensure Mr Robinson got his two children, aged two and six, out of his home to safety.
But she was asleep and did not see the message until after Mr Robinson told her of the blast.
He happened to be at the front of his home when it happened and saw a huge flash and the front of Adair's house was blown out on the street causing significant damage to two parked cars, said Miss Maxwell.
Such was the force of the blast that a neighbour on the opposite side of the street, 49-year-old Frank Applin, who used to be in the Foreign Legion, felt it in his kitchen and looking out of his home saw the front of the house opposite had been destroyed.
He saw that the fire was in the lounge and he bravely went into the property and found Adair slumped unconscious.
Despite suffering from a muscle-weakening disease he managed to rouse him and get him out of the property.
Adair was taken to hospital suffering severe burns to his face and hands and was detained for several days, said Miss Maxwell.
When interviewed, he said after cutting the gas pipe near the meter box he had gone upstairs and carried on drinking and lit a cigarette. He said he then came downstairs and the explosion occurred.
But the court heard that a forensic report by Merseyside Fire Service showed that the explosion had been triggered by four small piles of papers being set alight in the lounge.
Adair, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to arson being reckless whether life was endangered and sexual touching.
He was sentenced to six years for arson with ten months consecutively for the sex offence.
Simon Leong, defending, said the day before he tried to kill himself Adair, who suffers from depression, had received an eviction notice from his landlord. "That was the final straw," said Mr Leong.
He said Leong had been drinking heavily and a psychiatric report showed he had been suffering from depression and panic attacks and his mood had been described as "very low."
He had had a breakdown in 2011 and became socially isolated while off work.
He could not remember molesting the boy and after that became even more isolated and was drinking very heavily.
Mr Leong said that Adair, who is remorseful, admits his behaviour had been "selfish, thinking about himself."