Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Court told of Philpott relationship

Mick Philpott and his wife Mairead are accused of killing their six children in a house fire in Derby

The former mistress of "benefits scrounger" Mick Philpott, who is accused of killing his six children, has told a court how she ended their relationship after enduring years of abusive and domineering behaviour.

Lisa Willis left Philpott 10 years after she moved into the home he shared with his wife and their children, the court heard.

Miss Willis had four of her own children with Philpott during that time and said she and his wife Mairead took it in turns to alternate the nights they would share a bed with him.

The family achieved notoriety in 2006 and 2007 when they appeared on the Jeremy Kyle Show and in a documentary with MP Ann Widdecombe.

Philpott, 56, his 31-year-old wife and a third defendant, 46-year-old Paul Mosley, are on trial for the manslaughter of the Philpotts' six children.

Jade, 10, and her brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, Jayden, five, and Duwayne, 13, all perished after a fire which engulfed their home in Victory Road, Allenton, Derby, as they slept in their beds in the early hours of May 11 last year. All three defendants have denied the charges.

Giving evidence from behind a screen at Nottingham Crown Court, Miss Willis, 29, agreed with Philpott's barrister, Anthony Orchard QC, that the result of the television appearances was not positive.

He said: "Mr Philpott was being lambasted as a benefits scrounger. You were seen as a shameless family. It was a horrible time, wasn't it?" Miss Willis replied: "Yes it was."

He went on: "Michael Philpott is a man who raises in people quite a lot of emotion. People either love him or hate him. He could be arrogant. He could be a bit of a loud mouth. He would shout his business to anyone who would listen. He could rub people up the wrong way. There are some people who like him but many who do not."

Miss Willis replied: "Yes, that's true."

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