Father cries while denying starting fire that killed his six children
A FATHER accused of starting the fire in which his six children died wept in court today as he denied killing them in a blaze at the family home.
Mick Philpott, 56, said he had suspicions over who started the fire at 18 Victory Road in Derby in England last May.
Wearing a dark suit and a purple tie the father of 17 admitted that neighbours found his living arrangements with his wife, mistress and their 11 children “disgusting”.
He told Nottingham Crown Court that following his television appearances on Jeremy Kyle and with Ann Widdecombe people began to shout at him and his family in the streets and that they received death threats.
Mr Philpott, who along with his wife Mairead, 31, and a friend Paul Mosley, 46, denies six counts of manslaughter, said he decided to take part in the programmes because he needed a bigger house. “They (people) called them brats, scum of the earth,” Mr Philpott said.
Under questioning from Anthony Orchard QC he conceded that he was not a shy man and that he often made enemies with people - until they got to know him, he claimed.
“I come across as too strong, too powerful. I have always been a happy go lucky guy,” he said.
Mr Philpott denied controlling and bullying the two women with whom he lived. Both went to work. He drove them to their jobs and the children to school each day whilst undertaking “general fatherly duties” such as playing snooker, darts and teaching the children to write.
Both women's wages were paid into his bank account along with the family's benefit payments. But he told the jury that they had access to money. “My wallet was always left on the side with the bank cards in it. They never had to ask for money,” he said.
Mairead did the bulk of the housework and childcare, he said, whilst his “bond” with his mistress Lisa Willis, who had five children - four by him - had become stronger until they were “inseparable”. He would spend the day with his wife whilst sleeping with his mistress in a caravan parked outside the home. “I treated her (Lisa) like a queen,” he said.
However, she eventually left him in the months leading up to the blaze taking the children with her despite him having asked his wife “three or four times” for a divorce.
At the time of the fire, which was started by petrol poured in the hallway of the house late at night, the Philpotts and their six children were content in the three bedroom house, he said.
Jade, 10, John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five, died during the blaze. Their brother Duwayne, 13, was taken to Derby Royal Hospital and transferred to Birmingham Children's Hospital but died three days later.
- Jonathan Brown, Independent.co.uk
Independent News Service