Man blows up his house trying to get cannabis on the cheap

The damage caused by the explosion at Aysgarth Place. Below: Stephen Lapping leaves Leeds Crown Court.
The damage caused by the explosion at Aysgarth Place. Below: Stephen Lapping leaves Leeds Crown Court.
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A DRUG user caused an explosion which wrecked his home when he used butane gas to try and extract his own cannabis oil in a bid to save money, a court heard.

Stephen Lapping later admitted he was trying to filter the gas through some cannabis leaves, hoping to create “butane honey oil”, when he suddenly realised his partner’s teenage son had returned to their rented home in Aysgarth Place, Richmond Hill, Leeds.

Stephen Lapping leaves Leeds Crown Court.

Stephen Lapping leaves Leeds Crown Court.

As his partner did not know what he was doing he tried to hide the rest of the cannabis waste he had lying around in the kitchen but accidentally backed into the ignition button on the cooker in the process.

The explosion that followed blew out the windows and patio doors, severely damaged the structure of the building as well as blowing out the fireplace in the house next door, bruising the leg of a girl watching television there.

Lapping suffered flash burns to his face, arms and chest and spent three days in hospital as a result while his partner’s 15-year-old son was also briefly treated at hospital.

Philip Adams, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court yesterday at first it was believed there had been a conventional gas explosion at the property but investigation revealed the truth.

A total of 101 gas canisters were recovered, 39 full and three empty in the kitchen while there were 59 canisters in the garden shed of which 23 were empty. A forensic scientist estimated there would have been sufficient gas from the three empty in the kitchen to cause the explosion.

Around 1.3 kilogrammes of waste cannabis made up of mouldy leaves and stems was also seized.

Mr Adams said police officers had not come across such production before and investigated on the internet where details were given of how to produce the oil illegally, which was stronger than skunk cannabis, but always warned it should be outdoors.

Andrew Stranex, for Lapping, said he had been told by others about the process and as a cannabis user decided to try and save money with Christmas approaching but had plainly “not thought ahead about the possible consequences”.

Lapping, 37 was given a 12 months jail sentence suspended for two years, 300 hours unpaid work and a six months curfew from 8pm to 7am after admitting damage being reckless whether life was endangered, possessing cannabis and attempting to produce the butane honey oil on December 11, 2010.