Parents guilty of killing six children in house fire

Report by ITV News Midlands correspondent Rupert Evelyn.

The parents of six children who died in a house fire were today found guilty of their manslaughter.

Mick and Mairead Philpott were convicted by jurors at Nottingham Crown Court of the unlawful killing of the six siblings in the blaze at the family home in Victory Road, Derby, on May 11 last year.

A third defendant, 46-year-old Paul Mosley, was also found guilty of manslaughter by the jury following an eight-week trial.

  • Watch - The Man Who Would Stop at Nothing: The Mick Philpott Trial, tonight at 10.35pm on ITV

Samantha Shallow, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Today's verdict shows that the children died as a result of the actions of Michael and Mairead Philpott and Paul Mosley when they set the fire.

"It was started as a result of a plan between the three of them to turn family court proceedings in Mr Philpott's favour. It was a plan that went disastrously and tragically wrong.

Once the trio were found guilty of manslaughter, reporting restrictions were lifted on audio clips secretly recorded inside the Philpott parents' police van.

At around 34 seconds into the clip below, Mick is heard whispering to Mairead: "Are we sticking to the story?"

Another recording caught Mick and Mairead Philpott checking that their alibis had gone to plan:

Read more: Tributes paid to six siblings killed in Derby house fire

Shortly after the guilty verdicts were delivered, Nottingham Crown Court was temporarily cleared because of a disturbance in the public gallery.

A woman believed to be Mairead Philpott's sister Bernadette shouted: "You murdering b******.

"You heard me. I told you didn't I."

"No f***** listened to me from day one."

She was escorted from the courtroom.

A court sketch shows a woman being held back after causing a disturbance from the public gallery.
A court sketch shows a woman being held back after causing a disturbance from the public gallery. Credit: Priscilla Coleman

Before leaving the dock, as the judge rose for a short break after emotional outbursts in the packed public gallery, Philpott, wearing a grey suit, white shirt and pink tie, crossed himself and was heard to say: "It's not over yet."

Derbyshire Police released photographs of the fire damage caused to the house at 18 Victory Road.

Fire damage on the upstairs landing of the Philpott home.
Fire damage on the upstairs landing of the Philpott home.
The fire started at the foot of the stairs with poisonous gas rising up to the first floor.
The fire started at the foot of the stairs with poisonous gas rising up to the first floor.
The ferocity of the fire led to the double glazing melting and windows coming from their frames.
The ferocity of the fire led to the double glazing melting and windows coming from their frames.

Mortuary manager Marie Smith has spoken about her surprise at Mick Philpott's 'light-hearted' behaviour when he came to the mortuary to see the bodies of his six children who had all died in a house fire.

Mick and Mairead Philpott have been found guilty of their manslaughter.

Ms Smith described Philpott as laughing and joking with police outside the building before he visited his children.

Outside the court, emotional relatives of the family were seen comforting each other.

Jimmy Duffy, the father of Mairead Philpott, hugs a family friend outside Nottingham Crown Court.
Jimmy Duffy, the father of Mairead Philpott, hugs a family friend outside Nottingham Crown Court. Credit: PA
Jimmy Duffy, the father of Mairead Philpott, hugs daughter Bernadette, outside Nottingham Crown Court.
Jimmy Duffy, the father of Mairead Philpott, hugs daughter Bernadette, outside Nottingham Crown Court. Credit: PA
Jimmy Duffy (second right), the father of Mairead Philpott, and daughter Bernadette (left), outside Nottingham Crown Court.
Jimmy Duffy (second right), the father of Mairead Philpott, and daughter Bernadette (left), outside Nottingham Crown Court. Credit: PA
A court sketch depicts Mick Philpott (second left) and wife Mairead (second right) with Paul Mosley (right).
A court sketch depicts Mick Philpott (second left) and wife Mairead (second right) with Paul Mosley (right). Credit: Elizabeth Cook

During the trial, the court heard that the six youngsters - Jade Philpott, 10, and her brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, Jayden, five, and Duwayne, 13 - all died as a result of the petrol-fuelled blaze that tore through their three-bed council house.

The children were asleep in their beds upstairs when the fire, which was set inside the semi-detached house by the front door, took hold in the early hours.

The blaze was part of a "plan" Philpott had to frame his former mistress Lisa Willis, 29, who had left the family home three months earlier.

She and her five children, four of whom were fathered by Philpott, had lived with the Philpotts and their six children for 10 years before they left in February last year.

The fire happened at around 3.45am on May 11, just hours before Philpott, who was father to a total of 17 children by five different women, and Miss Willis were due to appear at a pre-scheduled court hearing to discuss residency of their children.

The court date was postponed following the fire.

Jurors heard the blaze was part of a botched plan to blame Miss Willis, who was arrested immediately after the fire but quickly released with no further action, in an effort to get her and the children to return to Victory Road.

Prosecutors said part of the motive could also have been the desire Philpott had for a bigger council house, or simply because Philpott wanted his children and girlfriend back in the family home.

More

Mick Philpott was 'light-hearted' at mortuary after children deaths

CPS statement: 'It was a plan that went disastrously and tragically wrong'