Fire accused's wife 'like a slave'
A man who is alleged to have killed his six children in a house fire has been accused of treating his wife like a slave.
Michael Philpott, 56, was accused at Nottingham Crown Court of controlling his wife Mairead, 31.
The pair, and a third defendant, Paul Mosley, are on trial for the manslaughter of their six children in a house fire at their home in Victory Road, Derby, on May 11 last year. All three deny the charges.
Shaun Smith, representing Mairead Philpott, asked his client's husband in the witness box: "You regarded her as your property, didn't you? Your slave. That's what she was, wasn't she?"
Philpott shook his head as Mr Smith went on, saying: "You think you own her, don't you?" but Philpott replied: "No", shaking his head
Mr Smith said: "She didn't actually have anywhere to go, did she?" to whichPhilpott replied: "She could have gone to my mam's."
"She could have gone to your mam's, where you could keep an eye on her?," said Mr Smith.
Philpott had lived at the house in Victory Road with his wife Mairead and their six children along with Lisa Willis and her five children for 10 years.
Miss Willis left the family home in February last year, taking her five children with her and the court has heard that, on the day of the fatal blaze in May last year, Philpott was due to appear at a court hearing with Miss Willis over residency of the five children, four of whom Philpott fathered.
Mr Smith told Philpott: "She (Lisa) escaped you, didn't she?" but Philpott replied: "No".