Robert Russell, 60, after an argument over noise, blew up his neighbor’s apartment with a gas explosion in a near-fatal revenge plot faces jail time.
On the day of the blast, Russell asked the local authority to drop his noise complaint, as he was ending his tenancy.
Russell, who lived above his victim, had intentionally opened a gas main supplying his and his victim’s home upstairs 12 hours earlier in an argument over noise.
When Mr Mazs, 56, turned on his stove for breakfast the next morning, he ignited the fumes and set off an explosion that destroyed the two-story block in Whitburn, West Lothian, Scotland.
A fireball engulfed Mr. Mazs, the blast sending him flying.
The High Court in Livingston heard the terrified 56-year-old try to douse himself in the shower before staggering into the street with his dog Misty.
The gas explosion in Whitburn, West Lothian on December 8th 2020 tore through the two storey house, completely destroying it.
Neighbor David Agnew, 37, described the horror, telling The Sun: ‘I had just dropped my little girl at school. I came home and had just walked in and the whole thing blew up.
‘If I had been two minutes later, I would have been right next to it and gone.
‘My wife said it sounded like a truck driving past the front door. This huge ball of fire came right at the window and she felt the heat.
‘Bill was standing at the end of the driveway basically smoking — I don’t know how he got out of that house alive.’
Mr Mazs was brought to A&E and suffered ‘severe injuries, permanent disfigurement and permanent impairment’.
He is reportedly dead – but his death has nothing to do with the gas explosion.
The 56-year-old was later diagnosed with PTSD that caused him to live a life ‘constantly on edge and a bag of nerves, continually in fear’.
According to The Sun, Mr McVicar told the court of the mental torment the victim endured before his unrelated passing last year.
‘Since the incident, the complainer reported in a police statement that he feels like his life has been destroyed,’ McVicar said.
‘He was referred to a trauma- focused clinical psychologist.
‘The complainer suffered flashbacks, nightmares and panic attacks. He had flashbacks to his flat with the flames rippling up the walls and he is trying to escape from the flat.’
Russell pleaded guilty to endangering the lives of his neighbors through his reckless and culpable conduct.
The court heard his conspiracy was carried out ‘with complete disregard for the consequences to the property and its neighbors,’ prosecutor Bill McVicar KC said.
The explosion caused so much damage that the apartments had to be demolished and rebuilt.
The block was so severely damaged it had to be demolished and will cost the council around £300,000 to rebuild.
Russell has since been released on bail. He is due to be sentenced next month.