1. ITV Report

Mairead Philpott: I ‘woke up to the fire’

Mairead Philpott answers questions on Monday. Photo: Priscilla Cole

A mother accused of the deaths of her six children in a blaze at their Derby home has told the court she "woke up to the fire”.

Mairead Philpott told Nottingham Crown Court she had no involvement with starting the fire or any plot leading up to the fatal blaze.

She said she first appreciated there was a fire in the house when her husband Mick opened the door and flames came through it.

The 31-year-old said she was naked and trying to get dressed as she called 999.

Mairead, her husband Mick and a third defendant Paul Mosely all deny manslaughter charges.

Questioned by her defence lawyer, she said “no” when asked if she lit the fire, if she helped anyone else start the fire and whether she saw Mick or Paul start the fire.

She told the court how Mick was her “guardian angel”.

Mick Philpott and wife Mairead are accused of manslaughter. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Asked why she spoke of her children as though they were still alive, she replied: "My children are still alive to me".

She says she was "hysterical" at the time of the fire and does not remember getting into the ambulance or being at the hospital up until the point a doctor told her "the children had passed away".

Her eldest child was taken to Birmingham after the fire but later died after the decision was taken to switch off his life-support machine.