Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

House blaze father 'spoke of plan'

Mick Philpott's six children died in the blaze at the house in Allenton, Derby

A mother of two has said a father accused of killing his six children in a house fire rubbed his hands together and told people he had a plan to win a custody battle against his former mistress.

Charlotte Bright told jurors at Nottingham Crown Court that Mick Philpott had told people that he had a plan to get his children back after his mistress Lisa Willis took them with her when she left the home he shared with his wife Mairead in Victory Road, Derby.

Jurors have heard that on the day of the fatal house fire that claimed the lives of his and Mairead Philpott's six children last May, Philpott was due to attend a custody hearing over the four children he shared with Miss Willis and a fifth she had from a previous relationship.

It is alleged that Philpott and his wife, along with a third defendant Paul Mosley, started the fatal blaze at their home in Victory Road in order to frame Miss Willis as the culprit.

On Wednesday Ms Bright told the court that in the days leading up to the fire Philpott said to parents at the school gates: "I've got a plan. I've got something up my sleeve. She's not getting those kids."

Philpott also told Ms Bright he had received death threats from Miss Willis after she left their relationship, she said.

Giving evidence, Ms Bright told jurors: "I'm not sure whether it was in a phone call or text but he said it said 'We are going to bomb you or your house - I believe it was aimed at Mairead'."

Another parent Denise Beck told the court: "He said he wasn't going to let Lisa get away with it - he had something up his sleeve - watch this space." Referring to the forthcoming custody hearing, Ms Beck said: "He was very confident about Friday. He said 'I can't wait until Friday'."

Six siblings Jade, 10, John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, Jayden, five, and Duwayne, 13 - all died after the fire which engulfed the Philpotts' home in Allenton in the early hours of Friday May 11 last year.

Philpott, 56, his 31-year-old wife and Mosley, 46, deny all six counts of manslaughter over the children's deaths.

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