Tuesday 20 March 2018

Derby house fire parents branded 'a disgrace' at crown court appearance

Mick Philpott and wife Mairead speak to the media at Derby Conference Centre in Derby. Photo: PA
Mick Philpott and wife Mairead speak to the media at Derby Conference Centre in Derby. Photo: PA

THE parents of six children killed in a house fire were branded 'a disgrace' by a member of the public gallery as they appeared were charged with their murder.

Mick Philpott, 55, and his wife Mairead, 31, appeared at Nottingham Crown Court charged with murder following the blaze at the house on Victory Road in Allenton, Derby, on May 11.

Their children Jade, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six, and Jayden, five, all died in the fire, and a sixth sibling Duwayne, 13, died of his injuries in hospital two days later.

Mr Philpott, who wore a white sports vest top, stared down at the floor in the dock while Mrs Philpott, who wore a blue sweater and her red hair loose, appeared tearful.

A member of the packed public gallery left the courtroom and shouted "disgrace" at the pair.

As the couple were remanded into custody, other members of the gallery shouted "scum".

No applications were made for bail.

The judge remanded the pair into custody.

They will next appear on June 18 for a preliminary hearing.

Yesterday the paid were labelled 'scum' by members of the public gallery when they made their first appearance in court.

A large number of residents from Victory Road, Derby, where the tragedy took place, were in court including a man believed to be Mr Philpott's brother.

During the proceedings a woman in the public gallery shouted out 'scum' and 'b*stards' before she was ejected from the court with a male accomplice.

The Philpott's were taken into custody on Tuesday morning – a fortnight after they broke down in tears at a press conference as officers described the incident which claimed the lives of their children.

Police had already established the blaze was deliberate, caused by petrol being ignited at the front of the family's three-bedroom council house in Allenton, Derby, in the early hours of Friday May 11.

Philpott, a father of 17 by five women, became known as 'Shameless Mick' in 2007 after demanding a larger house to share with his wife, his girlfriend Lisa Willis, and eight of his offspring.

In 2011 Mr Philpott appeared on TV's Jeremy Kyle show when the host accused him of being a scrounger who didn't work and 'couldn't get out of bed'.

Funerals for the children are being arranged, funded by more than £10,000 already raised by the local community.

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