Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Philpott 'joked about wanting team'

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

The ex-girlfriend of a man accused of killing his six children in a house fire has told a court how he joked about wanting enough children to make up a football team.

Heather Kehoe had two children with Mick Philpott during their relationship and the pair ran off to Derby together two weeks after her 16th birthday.

She met Philpott when she was 14. He was aged around 37 at the time and was married with children.

Giving evidence at his trial for manslaughter at Nottingham Crown Court, Ms Kehoe told jurors she had two sons during the relationship and, asked how many children she understood he wanted, she said: "Eleven was the number." She said there was a joke about that figure. "It was something about a football team or reserves," she said.

Prosecutor Richard Latham QC asked her: "Did you make a personal decision about whether you wanted this football team or not?" She replied: "Yes, I decided it was not happening."

Ms Kehoe said she got the contraceptive coil fitted not long after and Philpott, now aged 56, would be physically and verbally abusive towards her because she did not get pregnant again and often compared her with his ex-wife, Pamela Lomax.

"He said that I was not a real woman because I could not give him the children he wanted and Pam had given him a girl, and I would never be half the woman Pam was," she said.

He also made her suffer because she had not given him a daughter, the court heard. "He used to beat me for that too. It was my fault that our son was not a girl," she said.

Philpott and his 31-year-old wife Mairead are on trial for the manslaughter of the Philpotts' six children, along with a third defendant, 46-year-old Paul Mosley. All three defendants have denied the charges.

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.

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