A man blew up a bungalow and caused an estimated £75,000 worth of damage after the cannabis oil batch he was making exploded.
Christopher Titterington was undertaking the highly dangerous extraction process of making his own cannabis oil at a rented property when it exploded. The incident, which happened on July 2, 2020, caused serious burns to the upper part of his body.
He has now been sentenced to 14 months in prison, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to arson and being concerned in the production of cannabis at Durham Crown Court.
Titterington, of West Street, Blackhall Colliery, on the outskirts of Hartlepool, admitted the charges at a previous hearing where Paul Rooney, prosecuting, said the property in Horden’s Rosedale Terrace, where Titterington was making the oil, was a bungalow that was being rented out for six months.
He said: “The defendant used the bungalow until the tenancy ran out, without the permission of the landlord. In July, he was at the address making cannabis oil.”
The court was told that the process of making cannabis oil involves the use of butane gas, and that a pan of oil was being heated up, creating what is known as “dabs” or “honey oil”. Mr Rooney said: “As he did it, it exploded, and he suffered significant burns to the upper part of his body and he remained in an intensive care unit for several weeks.”
Mr Rooney said that a fire investigation report noted that the explosion was so powerful the kitchen windows were “blown out” during the extraction process. He said that during the process, the property was a “butane rich environment” and that 48 butane cylinders were inside the home.