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We can confirm that businessman Pascal Blasio has today, Wednesday 23rd October, been sentenced to 20 years after being found guilty of causing an explosion likely to endanger life in New Ferry, Wirral, over two-and-a-half years ago.
Blasio, 57, of Rainham, Gillingham, Kent, was also found guilty last week of fraud in relation to an insurance claim submitted to NFU Mutual following the explosion in March 2017.
His conviction followed a three week trial at Liverpool Crown Court.
Today he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
In passing sentence His Honour Judge Thomas Teague QC said: “This was a complex, difficult and somewhat sensitive case, and I commend the police and the fire service for the diligent and painstaking way in which they carried it out."
He also commended the two investigating officers along with the investigating fire officer.
The prosecution followed a gas explosion which occurred at a furniture shop called ‘Homes in Style’, which Blasio owned and was the sole director of, on the evening of Saturday 25th March 2017.
As a result of the blast over 80 people were injured and damage was caused to over 60 homes, shops and businesses in the town centre.
At a previous hearing the company who supplied the gas to the property, Contract Natural Gas (CNG), pleaded guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
CNG were fined a total of £320,000 and ordered to pay £50,000 towards the prosecution costs.
Assistant Chief Constable Natalie Perischine, said: “Blasio has brazenly continued to deny his involvement in the explosion which has totally devastated the lives of dozens of people and had a huge and lasting impact on the community of New Ferry.
“I hope that today means the people of New Ferry can now start to draw a line under that night and start to rebuild their lives knowing that Blasio will spend a considerable amount of time paying for his greedy and selfish actions in prison.
“This prosecution would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the team of detectives who have worked on this case, viewing hundreds of hours of CCTV footage and taking over 750 statements, including 115 victim impact statements, in order to bring a successful prosecution.
“I would also like to thank our colleagues at the Crown Prosecution Service who have worked tirelessly to bring this case to court and our colleagues at the Health and Safety Executive, Wirral Council, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and North West Ambulance Service for their assistance with this investigation.
“Finally I would again like to thank the people of New Ferry for their continued patience, support and dignity during the two-and-a-half years since this explosion. I know this will have been a long and difficult process but I am pleased that we have finally been able to bring this to a successful conclusion.”
21:14 Saturday 25th March 2017 – first call received from a member of the public reporting a massive explosion in street that made their house shake
21:21 Emergency services arrive at scene
21:49 Explosion declared a major incident
17th May 2017 – Pascal Blasio arrested and released under investigation
16th January 2018 - Pascal Blasio charged
4 April 2018 - Pascal Blasio’s first appearance at Wirral magistrates court
24th September Pascal Blasio appearance at Liverpool Crown Court
w/c 7th January 2018 – first trial hearing of Pascal Blasio
w/c 23rd September 2019 – second trial hearing of Pascal Blasio
14th October 2019 – Pascal Blasio unanimously convicted at Liverpool Crown Court following three week trial
23rd October 2019 – Pascal Blasio sentenced