Dad accused of killing children was 'abusive'
The former mistress of "benefits scrounger" Mick Philpott, who is accused of killing his six children, told a court how she ended their relationship after enduring years of abusive and domineering behaviour.
Lisa Willis left Mr Philpott 10 years after she moved into the home he shared with his wife and their children, the court heard.
Ms Willis had four of her own children with Mr Philpott during that time and said she and his wife Mairead took it in turns to alternate the nights they would share a bed with him.
Mr Philpott (56), his 31-year-old wife and a third defendant, 46-year-old Paul Mosley, are on trial for the manslaughter of the Philpotts' six children.
Jade (10), and her brothers John (9), Jack (8), Jesse (6), Jayden (5), and Duwayne (13) all perished after a fire which engulfed their home in Victory Road, Allenton, Derby, as they slept in their beds in the early hours of May 11 last year.
All three defendants have denied the charges.
Giving evidence at Nottingham Crown Court, Ms Willis (29) agreed with Mr Philpott's barrister that the result of TV appearances in 2006 and 2007 on the 'Jeremy Kyle Show' and in a documentary with Ann Widdecombe was not positive.
He said: "Mr Philpott was being lambasted as a benefits scrounger. You were seen as a shameless family. It was a horrible time, wasn't it?"
"Yes it was," Ms Willis said.
The prosecution case, which was opened yesterday, alleges that the Philpotts and Mr Mosley started the fire in a botched plan to set Ms Willis up after she and her five children left the relationship.
Earlier, Ms Willis told the jury that she met Mr Philpott aged around 17 and moved in with him and Mrs Philpott at their council home.
Asked how she felt when she found out the six Philpott children had died in the house fire she said: "I was devastated."
Her relationship with Mr Philpott became sexual shortly after she moved in, something she claimed Mrs Philpott was not upset by.
"We took it in turns, we never had all three of us together," she said.
Her relationship with Mr Philpott was peppered with violence and his controlling behaviour, she said.
The court heard Mr Philpott controlled her finances and her comings and goings were monitored by him.
Ms Willis left the house on February 11 last year, jurors heard.
At the beginning of May she received a call from the police in relation to threats she was alleged to have made against Mr Philpott, which she denied.
The prosecutor asked Ms Willis where she was on the night of the fire. She said her sister and children were at her house until 8pm on May 10.
The trial continues.