As it was, William Flindell, somewhat the worse for both drink and fire, survived the gas explosion that he engineered to kill himself. It wasn’t completely without consequence, though, as he did manage to ruin his sex life — the explosion destroyed both of his hands.
William Flindell filled his flat with gas and set it off with a lighter after spending the day drinking, a court heard.
The huge explosion ripped the windows out of his living room and showered bricks and debris across the street in Newport, South Wales.
Flindell escaped with his life, but lost the use of both hands in the blast, suffered burns to 58 per cent of his body and was kept in hospital for two months.
It caused £200,000 of damage and also hurt two other people in the building at the time, who had minor injuries and were discharged from hospital the same day.
Of course, that’s not including two months in custody of the National Health, which cost Flindell’s fellow Britons a pretty penny, but at least made him healthy enough to go to prison, and cost the beleaguered British taxpayer even more.
Witness heard a man shouting ‘Get out, get out’ of the bedsit property before the explosion.
Cardiff Crown Court heard the front of the house on George Street was ‘completely blown apart’ and showered the street in bricks and debris.
Flindell admitted arson being reckless to whether life was endangered and told police in hospital: ‘I’m sorry I have done it, I wanted to kill myself.’
He told police he was drinking on his 50th birthday on April 2nd last year when he became depressed and plotted the explosion.
Sarah Waters, defending, said the blast was ‘drastic and uncharacteristic’.
Sure it was. And it’s a pretty good bet that “mittens” Flindell is not going to do it again. For one thing, he’s through turning 50, in this lifetime.
Although it does make you wonder how he’s going to top this one when it’s time to celebrate the big six-oh.
She said: ‘The effect this has had on him physically has been horrendous.’
Yeah, lawyers. “Have pity on my client as his bomb blew him up.”
Flindell was jailed for four and a half years for causing the explosion.
Don’t remember what we did at Age 50. When the Blogbrother hit 50, he ordered the RV-12 kit, which seems a little more productive a celebration than making a human firework of yourself and your lodgings. But Wales is another country, and perhaps that is a quaint Welsh custom. (Come to think about it, quite a few Welsh got blown up, but that was whilst being led by Siegfried Sassoon at the Somme a century ago).