No5 barrister defends man cleared of manslaughter in flat explosion case

Mon, 23 Mar 2020

Counsel at No5 Barristers’ Chambers has defended a man cleared of the manslaughter of his friend following a massive explosion in Birmingham.

Andrew Baker represented Darren Stevenson, who was badly burned in the incident. Mr Stevenson was accused of causing the death of Tobias Gordon who died in the blast at a flat where a cannabis farm had been set up.

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court found Mr Stevenson, 32, not guilty of manslaughter, reckless arson and producing cannabis. He had denied the charges.

The court had heard that Mr Stevenson and Mr Gordon were growing cannabis at the property in Aldersmead Road, West Heath, in 2014, using butane gas, a cooker and a stove in the kitchen. More than 200 cans of butane gas were later found.

Mr Stevenson told the court that he took cannabis between 2010 and 2014 to help symptoms of a long-term illness. He said he had allowed Mr Gordon to use the flat to grow cannabis and received some of the drug in return.

On November 23, 2014, he said he went to the property and was let in by Mr Gordon who had something to do in the kitchen. He stayed in the lounge for about 10 minutes when there was a roar and ‘everything went black’. He feared the building would collapse and he managed to escape. The blast caused £400,000 worth of damage and the building did partly collapse.

He said Mr Gordon told him that he had been extracting oil from cannabis using gas cylinders.

To read more about the trial, visit: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/man-cleared-causing-friends-death-17955961

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