Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Fire deaths accused father in court

Mick Philpott is expected to give evidence at the start of his defence case where he is accused of the manslaughter of his six children in a house fire

A man accused of the manslaughter of his six children in a house fire is expected to give evidence at the start of his defence case.

Mick Philpott, 56, his 31-year-old wife Mairead and a third defendant, Paul Mosley, 46, are all on trial accused of killing the six siblings.

During their trial at Nottingham Crown Court, which began last month, prosecutors alleged that the fatal blaze was part of a plan hatched by the defendants to frame Philpott's ex-girlfriend Lisa Willis.

Miss Willis, 29, shared the house in Victory Road, Derby with Philpott and his wife, along with the married couple's six children. Miss Willis left the house and her relationship with Philpott in February last year and took her five children with her, four of which were fathered by unemployed Philpott.

The court heard that on the same day as the fire engulfed the house on May 11 last year, Philpott and Miss Willis were due in court to discuss custody of their children.

Six siblings died as a result of the fire. Jade, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six and Jayden, five, died during the blaze. Their brother Duwayne, 13, was taken to Derby Royal Hospital and transferred to Birmingham Children's Hospital but died three days later.

Jurors heard that Philpott told police he and his wife had nothing to do with the fire.

After his arrest he told police: "I just can't believe this is happening. I don't think you understand what it is like losing six children."

When asked whether he was responsible for the blaze, Philpott replied: "Watch these eyes: categorically no. Nor was my wife."

Philpott, his wife and Mosley all deny six counts of manslaughter.

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