Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Court told of Philpott violence

Mick Philpott and his wife Mairead will be jailed over a house fire which killed their six children

A man who is awaiting sentence for killing his six children in a house fire was on bail for a violent road rage incident at the time of the blaze, a court has been told.

Mick Philpott, who with his wife Mairead and friend Paul Mosley was on Tuesday found guilty of six counts of manslaughter, also served time in prison for attempted murder after repeatedly stabbing an ex-girlfriend.

Details of his previous convictions were revealed to trial judge Mrs Justice Thirlwall ahead of sentencing at Nottingham Crown Court.

The judge was due to sentence all three defendants on Wednesday but adjourned the case to "consider the sentences".

Earlier the judge heard that a week before the fatal fire in Victory Road, Derby, Philpott was awaiting trial having pleaded guilty to common assault.

The court heard he punched another driver, whose teenage daughter was in the car, after Philpott swerved in front of him and forced him to stop because he believed the motorist had pulled out in front of him at a roundabout.

The court was told of Philpott's history of violent offending. In 1978 he was sentenced to seven years in prison after he repeatedly stabbed a former girlfriend. He received a concurrent five-year sentence for grievous bodily harm with intent after attacking her mother when she rushed to her daughter's aid.

In 1991 he received a two-year conditional discharge for assault occasioning actual bodily harm after he headbutted a colleague, and in 2010 he was given a police caution after slapping his wife and dragging her outside by her hair.

Anthony Orchard QC, for Philpott, said his client's conviction for attempting to murder his previous girlfriend was a "long time ago" and there was no evidence of similar offending. Interrupting, the judge told him: "There's been violence in every single relationship, has there not?"

Philpott, 56, Mairead, 32, and Mosley, 46, were each convicted of six separate counts of manslaughter following an eight-week trial. The trio started the fire in an attempt to frame Philpott's ex, 29-year-old Lisa Willis, after she left the family home with her children three months previously.

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