Neighbour from hell almost blew up house

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A man has been jailed for damaging gas pipes which nearly led to a massive explosion – putting the lives of a family in danger.

Andrew Beanland, 44, 
harangued the family-of-three for months before the incident and was under a restraining order for banging on their walls and front door at all hours of the day and night.

Matters reached a head on June 10, when his behaviour put the victims – a woman, her partner and young daughter who lived next door on a row of terraces in Rosebery Avenue – in grave danger.

Prosecutor Tom Gent said he was shouting, swearing and banging on the wall which separated the houses. The banging was so forceful that he ruptured a gas pipe.

Panic-stricken, his neighbours called police. An officer arrived at Beanland’s home and set about repairing the pipe with the help of a gas engineer.

Mr Gent said a “massive” explosion had been averted by their actions.

Beanland was arrested and admitted offences of damaging property and being reckless as to whether lives would be in danger.

Appearing at York Crown Court for sentence on Tuesday, he also admitted breaching the restraining order.

He told police he had damaged the pipe accidentally after tapping on the wall with a screwdriver.

He said his memory of the incident was hazy but claimed he had made efforts to repair the pipe.

One of the female victims told police they were so afraid of Beanland that they installed CCTV cameras and kept a log of incidents.

Beanland’s defence counsel said he had not intended to harm them.

Jailing Beanland for three years, judge Stephen Ashurst said: “It seems to me that, thanks to the prompt action of the police who secured the attendance of a gas fitter, the most terrible explosion - which would not simply have been confined to your property and your neighbours’ - has been avoided in this case.”

He added Beanland was danger to the public and put him under an indefinite restraining order, banning him from his own home.