Newspaper review: Derby fire verdict dominates papers


Pictures in the Sun and the Daily Mirror show the charred bathroom of the house where six children were killed in a fire started by their parents.

They serve as a stark reminder of the crime committed by Mick and Mairead Philpott.

The other details of the case, and what the Daily Mail calls the couple's "sordid lifestyle" which "beggars belief", are set out in pages of coverage.

"Mick Philpott made no apologies for the way he lived," says the Independent.

He was, says the Guardian, "the perfect tabloid villain - a father of 17 children, he lived with two women and once appeared on the Jeremy Kyle Show to demand a bigger council house".

The Sun comments that "it is hard to imagine a more repulsive creature".

'Pure evil'

The Daily Mirror says "their bizarre lifestyle made them celebrities of a sort".

The paper's columnist Alison Phillips observes that "this is what happens when a cruel man like Mick Philpott sees there is money and opportunity to be made through having kids".

The Guardian says "women to Philpott were slaves and sexual chattels".

"Here was a violent, disturbed, misogynistic man," says the Independent. "It's one of those horror stories in which hyperbole reads like offensive understatement."

He was, says the Daily Mirror, "pure evil", as it catalogues his attacks on two other women in his life: "There are few words strong enough to describe the depravity."

"Understanding what makes a man as thoroughly unpleasant as Mick Philpott tick is no easy task," says the Daily Mail. He was "a man whom words cannot adequately describe".

'Mundane and brutal'

The Guardian has a special report which sets out to explore how the Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic was able to evade capture for so long.

He is now on trial at the Hague accused of genocide.

By remaining at liberty for 14 years, the paper says, he acquired the image of "a Serbian Scarlet Pimpernel" but "the reality was more mundane and brutal".

The paper says the men and women who helped to hide him would be presented with photographs of their children - "the implication was clear: if we can shoot them with a camera, we can shoot them by other means as well".

Media figure

Tuesday saw public appearances by two new leaders who have taken their jobs in controversial circumstances.

Lord Hall arrived at the BBC as director general - he is pictured, arms outstretched, on the front of the Financial Times, which describes him as a "new pair of hands".

The Daily Mail thought the poses he struck were "a bizarre performance" from a man facing "deadly serious problems".

But it acknowledges that he has now become "by far the most influential figure in the British media."

New Sunderland football manager Paolo Di Canio is pictured in the Daily Star giving a "fascist-style salute" in an Italian bar.

The Times thinks he is entitled to do the job - despite his political views - but it thinks it would be better if he were to recant his support for Mussolini.

The Daily Telegraph thinks his fate will be decided by the fans, and whether they shun the club.

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