Dad who helped kill six children had stabbed a former girlfriend
Published 03/04/2013 | 05:00
For the past 11 months, Mick and Mairead Philpott have lied, play-acted and sought to connive their way out of responsibility for their six children's deaths.
Yesterday, a jury found that the married couple had started the blaze which killed their young family.
Six unanimous verdicts were returned against the unemployed father-of-17, and a similar number of majority decisions against his wife.
The Philpotts and their friend Paul Mosley (46), who was also convicted, now face life in jail when they are sentenced for manslaughter later today.
There were angry scenes at Nottingham Crown Court at the end of the eight-week trial in which details of the Philpotts' unconventional sex life and drug use were replayed.
Mick Philpott (56)was seen to say "It's not over yet" as he was led away, while his 31-year-old wife stared at the floor and wept.
Members of the public hugged each other and sobbed as others shouted obscenities at the guilty couple, forcing the judge to clear the courtroom.
The jury was not told that Philpott – who was described as a controlling and manipulating figure – had a history of violence against women dating back to a 1978 attempted murder conviction for stabbing his former girlfriend and a serious assault on her mother.
In a pre-trial hearing it emerged he had been sentenced to seven years and five years to run concurrently for the assault, which was carried out in a jealous rage after the girlfriend tried to end their relationship when he was a 21-year-old-soldier.
Philpott crept into 17-year-old Kim Hill's house in the middle of the night. He later threatened another girlfriend, Heather Kehoe, holding a knife to her throat and warning her she would be stabbed too.
It can also now be reported that Philpott had sought to bully volunteers and control a £15,000 (€17,600) funeral fund raised by the local community in Allenton, Derby, in the aftermath of the tragedy, demanding that money left over from the ceremony be paid out to him in Argos vouchers.
Jade Philpott (10) and her brothers John (9), Jack (8), Jesse (6), Jayden (5), and Duwayne (13), all died from smoke inhalation when their parents set fire to the three-bed council housein the early hours of May 11 last year.
Derby City Council announced a serious case review into the actions of social services leading up to the tragedy, although none of the children was subject to child protection plans or legal orders.
The prosecution argued that the fire was started in a bid to "frame" Mr Philpott's former lover, Lisa Willis (29) but that it had gone "tragically and disastrously wrong" with temperatures in the house reaching 500C.
Ms Willis had lived with the couple along with her five children but walked out three months earlier, resulting in a vicious custody battle that had been due to go to court on the morning of the blaze. Mairead Philpott also had sex with Mosley after the fire on her husband's insistence in an effort to keep him onside.
The Derbyshire Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill said it had been the most upsetting investigation he had ever taken part in: "This is a shocking case for everyone involved. Six young children lost their lives needlessly in a fire and all our efforts have been focused on getting justice for those children." (© Independent News Service)