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Parents charged over deaths blaze

A mother and father have been charged with murdering their six children, who died after a fire at their home.

Mick Philpott and his wife Mairead will appear at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court on Thursday morning, a spokesman for Derbyshire Police said.

Jade Philpott, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six, and Jayden, five, all died in the blaze, in Victory Road, Allenton, on May 11.

A sixth sibling, Duwayne, 13, died of his injuries in Birmingham Children's Hospital two days' later.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said: "The evidence was reviewed by a Crown Advocate from the CPS East Midlands Complex Casework Unit, who decided that there was sufficient evidence to charge and that it is in the public interest for a prosecution to take place.

"It is important to note that the defendants are entitled to a fair trial and nothing should be said or reported that would prejudice that right."

Philpott, 55, and his 31-year-old wife were arrested on Tuesday morning. Five days after the fire they appeared at a press conference where they broke down as they thanked those who tried to save their children.

Speaking after the pair were charged, Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill stressed that the police investigation was ongoing and urged anyone with information about the blaze to contact police.

He said: "Following the appeal yesterday a number of people have come forward with more information but I want to stress that the two charges this evening should not be seen as the end of the investigation.

"We are determined to get to the truth of what happened and still want people to speak to us to tell us what they know about this tragedy."

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