independent

Thursday 24 April 2014

Child killer Philpott loses bid for shorter jail term

Mick Philpott and wife Mairead
Mick Philpott and wife Mairead

A mother jailed for 17 years for killing her six children in a house fire has lost a second bid to challenge the length of her sentence.

Mairead Philpott (32), whose family is from the North, was jailed alongside her husband Mick at Nottingham Crown Court in April after being found guilty of the manslaughter of Jade Philpott and her brothers John, Jack, Jesse, Jayden and Duwayne.

There was applause from the public gallery as Court of Appeal judges dismissed a renewed application by Philpott to challenge her jail term.

Mick Philpott was jailed for life with a minimum term of 15 years after being branded a "disturbingly dangerous" man.

His wife, who is likely to be released after serving half of her 17-year term, took part in a plan to set fire to the couple's home in an effort to frame his former mistress.

The children were aged between five and 13.

Members of Mairead's family were in the public gallery for the hearing.

Philpott was not in court.

LOVING

Setting out her grounds of appeal, her barrister Shaun Smith said: "The essence is the utter dependence of Mairead Philpott on Mick Philpott, whilst not excusing culpability, legally or morally, was not given sufficient weight in assessing the length of her sentence."

Mr Smith said Mairead, who had been a loving mother, would forever be known as a child killer and that her sentence would be "a lifetime reminder of her inability to stand up to a disturbingly dangerous man".

Dismissing the appeal, the judge said there was "no doubt" Mairead Philpott had loved her children but that as their mother she had a responsibility to them.

Another judge dismissed Mr Smith's claims that she could not stand up for herself against her husband.

"She was capable of standing up. She could make a choice. She had a responsibility that was not overborne by the will of Michael Philpott."

Irish Independent

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