A heartbroken South Wales man has been sentenced to 3 years behind bars - for blowing up his flat in an attempt to kill himself after his rugby player brother was left in a coma.
Devoted brother Dwain Bessant, 43, caused a £30,000 gas explosion - but survived the suicide bid with severe burns from the blast.
He tried to end his life after his younger brother Scott, 34, was left unable to walk and talk after being in a coma for six months.
But a court heard he was arrested after cutting the gas pipe to cause the blast which nearly killed his elderly neighbours.
Prosecutor Gareth James said Bessant had barricaded himself in the flat in Pontypool, but was found after neighbours forced entry with an axe.
Mr James said: "He was seen in the kitchen surrounded by flames and smoke. They were pleading with him to come out of the flat but he wouldn’t do so.
"They were able to force open the door and persuade him to come forward and they pulled him out of the flat and took him downstairs.
"It will cost up to £30,000 to repair the flat."
Bessant's elderly neighbours William and Irene Watkins were at home and heard noises from his flat.
Mr James said: "They heard a loud bang coming from the flat but didn’t know what it was. A neighbour was encouraging them to get out."
Newport Crown Court heard that Bessant was taken to hospital with burns to his hands and face.
His younger brother Scott - who played for Wales Dragonhearts rugby league team - remains in hospital after being found with life changing injuries in a lane in August last year.
His family still have no idea what happened to him.
Bessant told police that his life had taken "a turn for the worse" and did not want to continue living.
Defending, Gareth Williams said the incident was a cry for help.
He said; "He has never been in court before. The family are concerned about him because there seems to have been a downward spiral to his mental health."
Bessant, of Pontypool, admitted arson and was jailed for three years.
Judge Daniel Williams said: "You and the members of your family have been greatly affected by the injuries received by your brother Scott in an unrelated incident.
"As a result of your actions, Mr and Mrs Watkins have been made homeless temporarily.
"There’s clearly good in you from the references I have read but what you did put the lives of others and vulnerable others at considerable risk."
After the case Neil Chere, Bessant’s brother-in-law, said the family are devastated.
He said: "It’s tough for Dwain’s parents as they’ve now lost a son for three years, while the situation around Scott remains unclear.
"But how much can one family take? It’s heart wrenching. We’re just lost words."