A SOCIAL worker has described how a man accused of killing his six children in a house fire became threatening when she told him he was unable to see the children he shared with his mistress.
Suzanne Eastwood, from Derby City Council Social Services, told Nottingham Crown Court that Mick Philpott went from being calm to "angry and quite threatening" in a meeting just weeks after the fire over access to five children belonging to his former mistress Lisa Willis.
Ms Eastwood told the court Philpott was not happy when she told him he would have to see a solicitor if he wanted to see the five children as they were in foster care.
She said: "He was really not happy about this. He immediately stood up and the momentum forced the chair up against the wall."
"He changed from being calm to being angry and quite threatening. I thought he was going to leave the room because he started to pace a little but he came and sat back down, she added.
Philpott told her they were putting the children "in danger" by putting them back with Miss Willis, the court heard.
"He said we were putting them in danger because people in Derby were after Lisa. I got the impression he was insinuating that Lisa had started the fire," Ms Eastwood said.
Philpott demanded that she tell him where the children were and threatened to "get" Miss Willis, the court heard.
Ms Eastwood said: "He said directly to me that he would get Lisa and carry out exactly what he had promised. He repeated it several times."
Mick Philpott and his wife Mairead are accused of setting a fatal fire at their home in Victory Road, Derby, in which their six children died last May, along with a third defendant Paul Mosley. They deny six counts of manslaughter.
Prosecutors have alleged they set the fire in a plan to frame Miss Willis after she left the three-bedroom house she shared with the Philpotts and took her five children with her.
Giving evidence today, Superintendent Kate Meyell from East Midlands Major Crime Unit, who led the investigation into the fire, told the court Miss Willis was arrested on suspicion of murder on May 11.
"There was insufficient evidence to connect her with the incident so she was released without charge," Ms Meyell told the court.