A builder woke up from a coma to find he’d blown off his own hand and obliterated the roof of his mum’s house after setting off a firework in his bedroom.
Paul Carr accidentally started the blaze with the ‘industrial strength’ firework that destroyed his attic room while his mum and young cousin were downstairs.
While they were not seriously hurt the 28-year-old construction worker lost his right hand in the blast as well as the index finger and thumb on his left hand.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that Carr had told a paramedic that he had been ‘grinding industrial fireworks to be turned into gunpowder.’
He later admitted being responsible for the blast, on the basis that he’d been trying to combine two fireworks into one.
Carr has was jailed for 20 months, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to causing an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury.
The terrifying blaze started at Carr’s House in Anfield, Liverpool, at about 5.15pm on September 12, 2017.
Jonathan Duffy, prosecuting, said the terraced property was rented by Carr’s mum and other family members lived there.
But at the time of the explosion only Carr, his mum and little cousin were at home.
A neighbour was disturbed by a loud “boom”, followed by a crashing sound as his kitchen wall clock fell to the floor.
He and other residents heard people shouting to get out and when they went into the street, they saw “flames and black smoke billowing from the roof” of Carr’s house, as people tried to gain entry to the property.
Mr Duffy said: “It wasn’t long before the emergency services, fire service, police and ambulance all arrived at the scene and were confronted with a huge fire.
“They saw that a property had been extensively damaged, the roof had fallen in and it was ablaze.”
Carr’s cousin and his mum were taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation, but fortunately suffered no lasting injuries.
Explaining the root of the blast Mr Duffy said: “While inside the confines of his bedroom, the defendant tampered with industrial strength fireworks by breaking them open.
“It is not known precisely what he did, less still why he did what he did.”
Carr was put in an induced coma and wasn’t fit to be interviewed until three months later, when he told officers he had no memory of the events.
He had denied wrong-doing and was set to stand trial last March but went on to plead guilty.
Christopher Stables, defending, said the matter had been hanging over Carr’s head for more than three years and he “hasn’t put a foot wrong since.”
He said: “It’s an unusual case in the sense that the defendant is in reality both the defendant and the victim in this case.
“He suffered extremely serious physical injuries in the blast.”
Mr Stables said his injuries also included burns to his chest, both arms and legs, for which Carr required skin grafts.
Judge Denis Watson QC, said: “For reasons which are hard to fathom you decided to meddle with some large display or industrial fireworks.
“It seems your intention was to make a larger one for a more spectacular effect.
“From what you said to the paramedics, you were in the process of dismantling one or two fireworks, using some sort of blender or grinder to do so.”
The judge said the risks of fireworks were “obvious” because “explosions even from a distance are significant.”
He added: “Everybody else, the landlord, your family and neighbours all appear to have accepted this was unintentional.”
Carr was handed 20 months in prison, suspended for two years, with a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.