Derby fire deaths: Mortuary visit 'like a circus'

Duwayne Philpott, 13, Jade Philpott, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, seven, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five Firefighters described the scene as "chaotic"

Related Stories

A mortuary visit by the mother and father accused of killing their six children in a house fire was "like a circus", Nottingham Crown Court heard.

Mortuary manager Marie Smith said a dozen people turned up for one visit. She described the behaviour of the father, Mick Philpott, as "irrational".

Ms Smith told the court Mr Philpott grabbed a family liaison officer in a headlock and took part in "horseplay".

Mr Philpott, his wife Mairead and Paul Mosley deny six counts of manslaughter.

Jade Philpott, 10, and her brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five, died in the fire at the family home in Victory Road, Allenton, Derby on 11 May.

Their brother Duwayne, 13, died three days later.

Gin request

Ms Smith told the court Mr Philpott's behaviour "wasn't fitting with what had taken place with the children".

She added: "He'd be quite angry one minute and then be apologising to everyone the next - it didn't appear to be genuine.

Start Quote

Mr Philpott immediately woke up and got up when I said I was going to get a doctor”

End Quote Marie Smith Mortuary manager

"He grabbed the family liaison officer around the neck like in a headlock - there was a lot of horseplay."

Ms Smith told the court that when she offered him some water, Mr Philpott asked if some gin could be put in it. She said nobody had requested that before.

She also said he appeared to pretend to faint when he came with wife Mairead for the first time after the fire at their house in Derby in May last year.

"Because of my experience working in that department, having seen many friends and relatives faint for whatever reason, it didn't appear to me to be genuine," she told the jury.

"He immediately woke up and got up when I said I was going to get a doctor."

The court also heard on Tuesday that he made threats against his former mistress Lisa Willis who had custody of their five children.

'In danger'

Social worker Suzanne Eastwood said Mr Philpott went from being calm to "angry and quite threatening" in a meeting they had after the fire.

Mr Philpott, 56, was in a custody battle with Ms Willis, 29, after she left the home she shared with him and his 31-year-old wife, taking her five children with her.

Philpott family home on 11 May 2012 Five of the children died at the house - the eldest later died in hospital

He had told Ms Eastwood, a social worker assigned to the family's case, the children were "in danger" if they went back with Miss Willis, the court heard.

Ms Eastwood told the jury: "He said we were putting them in danger because people in Derby were after Lisa.

"I got the impression he was insinuating that Lisa had started the fire.

"He said directly to me that he would get Lisa and carry out exactly what he had promised. He repeated it several times."

Ms Eastwood said Mr Philpott seemed "calm and matter of fact" when they talked about seeing his dead children at the mortuary.

She said she was "quite taken aback" because Philpott showed no emotion about seeing them.

He seemed calm during the meeting, which he attended with Mairead until he was told the five were in foster care while police investigated the fire, she said.

Nicola Atterbury, another social worker who was at the meeting said: "I did expect him (Philpott) to be quite emotional.

"I thought at one point he was going to cry, it was almost child like, he was squeezing his face as a child would to produce tears", she said.

The court was also told Mr Philpott was overheard at Derby Royal Hospital on the day of the fire saying: "It wasn't meant to end like this."

Witness Louise Quantick, who saw the six children being brought into the hospital, told the court she heard the comments when she went outside to smoke.

The trial of the Philpotts and Mr Mosley, 46, of Cecil Street, Derby, continues on Wednesday.

More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Derby

Weather

Derby

19 °C 14 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    18:00:

    Monday's Local Live updates have finished. The service will return at 08:00 on Tuesday.

     
  2.  
    East Midlands Today 17:50: Dominic Heale Presenter

    On BBC One at 18:30, we speak to a Derbyshire charity that's offering to fund proton therapy for five-year-old Ashya King, the boy with brain cancer who was taken to Spain by his parents.

    Ashya King
     
  3.  
    Your photos: River view 17:45: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    John Leigh is the man behind this marvellous photo of the River Derwent at Chatsworth House.

    River Derwent at Chatsworth House

    If you've taken any pictures of Derbyshire or East Staffordshire you're particularly proud of, send them to derby.locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweet them to @bbcderby and I'll help give them a wider audience.

     
  4.  
    Deadline day surprise? 17:36: Owen Bradley BBC Radio Derby Sport

    We weren't excepting anything from Derby County today, who had made it clear they were happy with the window and weren't prepared to sell any of the first-team squad.

    However, with an approach for winger Matt Ritchie being knocked back by Bournemouth and Derby's apparent willingness to listen to an offer for Johnny Russell, maybe there is a surprise in the offing.

    Burton's business seems to be over for the day following Stuart Beavon's arrival, but there could well be more activity when the loan window reopens.

     
  5.  
    Your photos: Windmill visit 17:29: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    Neil Cutts got in touch to say he and his family enjoyed a great day out at Heage Windmill this weekend - and he attached a picture from their visit.

    Heage Windmill

    Email or tweet us photos of your recent outings and I'll feature a few on Local Live.

     
  6.  
    Footballers 'racially abused' 17:19:

    The Derbyshire Times reports Chesterfield striker Armand Gnanduillet had to be held back by stewards and colleagues after at least one Port Vale fan aimed monkey chants and racist language in his direction following Saturday's match between the two sides.

    The incident is now being investigated.

     
  7.  
    Shop window smashed 17:14: BBC Radio Derby

    Police in Derbyshire want to speak to anyone with information on how a jewellery shop was damaged in Matlock.

    The window of CW Sellors, in Crown Square, was smashed at about 04:00 on Tuesday.

     
  8.  
    Staveley accident 17:05: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    A crash involving a motorbike and a van has partially blocked Staveley Road in Staveley, warns our travel news team.

     
  9.  
    News on the hour 16:54: Alex Howick Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    The top story in my 17:00 bulletin is about a fresh appeal being made following a Derbyshire woman's disappearance 36 years ago.

     
  10.  
    Disabled claimants 'charged £135' 16:43:

    Burton MP Andrew Griffiths claims some GPs in Staffordshire have been charging disabled patients up to £135 to provide medical proof they are eligible for benefits.

    Andrew Griffiths

    The Conservative MP said he had been alerted to the problem by the Citizens Advice Bureau in East Staffordshire.

    Work and Pensions Minister Mark Harper said he would meet with Mr Griffiths and investigate his claims.

     
  11.  
    Dry but cloudy week 16:36: Kaye Forster BBC Weather

    It's a quiet picture for the rest of the week. Staying mostly dry with quite a lot of cloud at times.

    If we get some brightness, temperatures could get into the low 20s.

     
  12.  
    Affordable housing stats 16:25: BBC Radio Derby

    Derby has the most affordable house prices in the East Midlands, according to the Trades Union Congress.

    The study, which compared house prices to earnings, ranked Derby as the sixth most affordable council area in the UK.

     
  13.  
    Mouse droppings shut pub 16:17:

    The Steamboat Inn, at Sawley's Trent Lock, has been closed after inspectors found mouse droppings in the kitchen and on bar shelves.

    The Steamboat Inn

    Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notices were served by the borough council after the discovery on Wednesday and will remain in place until pub bosses resolve the issue.

     
  14.  
    'Much loved' youth club 16:04:

    The Ironville Youth Carriage is getting a £50,000 new look using a grant from Scape - an organisation that gives out cash to innovative public sector building projects.

    Ironville Youth Carriage

    The youth club, which is based in a vintage railway carriage, opened 15 years ago and was described by Scape as "a vital and well-loved part of the local community".

     
  15.  
    News on the hour 15:55: Alex Howick Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    An appeal's been renewed to try to find a woman in Derbyshire who went missing 36 years ago. Find out more in my 16:00 news.

     
  16.  
    Your feedback 15:50: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    We're always trying to find new ways of making our service even better.

    We'd love to hear your views on how you'd like to see Local Live develop.

     
  17.  
    Defender joins Reds 15:37:

    Alfreton Town have signed former Nottingham Forest defender Lawrence Gorman on non-contract terms.

    The 19-year-old central defender has represented England at both U16 and U17 level.

     
  18.  
    Phone problems resolved 15:26:

    Derbyshire County Council tweets: Our phone system is now back up and running. Apologies for any inconvenience.

     
  19.  
    Loan move made permanent 15:17:

    Burton Albion loan striker Stuart Beavon has agreed a permanent deal with the club.

    Stuart Beavon

    The 30-year-old has had his Preston North End contract terminated and will now join the Brewers, subject to paperwork being completed.

     
  20.  
    Deadline day round-up 15:08: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    Here are the main moves so far involving our local sides on transfer deadline day:

     
  21.  
    News on the hour 14:58: Alex Howick BBC Radio Derby newsreader

    Police are renewing an appeal to find a woman who went missing in Derbyshire 36 years ago. We'll have the full story in our 15:00 bulletin.

     
  22.  
    Chatsworth Country Fair pictures 14:47:

    The Ashbourne News Telegraph has a gallery featuring more than 50 photos from this weekend's Chatsworth Country Fair.

     
  23.  
    Racist taunts investigated 14:36:

    The FA has asked Chesterfield FC to start an investigation after some of its black players were racially abused by Port Vale supporters on Saturday.

    The club said the players were taunted by a small section of the home supporters at Vale Park as they left the field following their 2-1 win.

     
  24.  
    Woman's 1978 disappearance probed 14:21: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    Police have made a renewed appeal to find a woman who disappeared 36 years ago.

    The woman, who gave her name as Susan Banner, had been staying at a women's refuge in Derbyshire but vanished after leaving for a flat viewing in January 1978.

     
  25.  
    Poppy installation growing 14:12:

    The poppy field around the Tower of London is growing, as this aerial picture from the Metropolitan Police helicopter team shows.

    Poppy field around the Tower of London

    Nearly 900,000 ceramic flowers are being placed in the dry moat around the attraction as part of a piece by Derbyshire artist Paul Cummins to remember those who died in World War One.

     
  26.  
    News on the hour 13:57: Alex Howick Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    In my 14:00 bulletin, I'll have the latest on a Derbyshire town where GP appointments will soon be available seven days a week.

     
  27.  
    Concert's future uncertain 13:44: BBC Radio Derby

    Thousands of people attended last night's Darley Park Concert, but the city council says it is not certain it will take place next year.

    Darley Park Concert 2014

    Alison Martin, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said cuts to central funding meant the event would only continue to be held if people in the city indicated they wanted to keep it.

    The authority is also considering other options, including charging for entry or moving it to a different venue.

     
  28.  
    Rain heads south 13:31: Charlie Slater BBC Weather

    There's a good deal of cloud around as we make our way through the day.

    Any rain should clear to the south east soon, so it'll be a fairly dry afternoon, although not overly bright.

     
  29.  
    East Midlands Today 13:17: Angelina Socci Presenter

    On BBC One at 13:30, we report on NHS bosses pushing ahead with a radical shake-up of GP services in Ilkeston and Long Eaton.

    Ilkeston
     
  30.  
    Midfielder joins Rams 13:06:

    Derby County have signed German midfielder Tom Koblenz after a short trial.

    The 19-year-old has signed a two-year deal with the club.

     
  31.  
    News on the hour 12:54: BBC Radio Derby

    People in Ilkeston have welcomed changes to GP services in the town. It should mean they'll get more access to their family doctor. Hear more in the news at 13:00.

     
  32.  
    Fugitive robber found 12:41:

    An inmate who disappeared from Sudbury open prison while serving more than seven years for robbery has been re-arrested.

    Andrew Taylor

    Andrew Taylor, 25, was found by police in Chesterfield on Saturday night after two days on the run.

     
  33.  
    Deadline day 12:28: Owen Bradley BBC Radio Derby Sport

    Looks like Derby have enquired about Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie, while Bournemouth have also shown interest in Derby's Johnny Russell.

    There certainly won't be a swap deal between the clubs and both deals are some way off being sorted, I'm told. But one to keep an eye on.

     
  34.  
    Striker 'racially abused' 12:18: Derbyshire Times

    Players and fans have united in their condemnation of fans who hurled racist abuse at a Chesterfield player.

     
  35.  
    GP shake-up queried 12:08: East Midlands Today

    Dr Peter Holden, chairman of the BMA East Midlands Regional Council, questioned whether a new pilot scheme to boost out-of-hours access to GPs in Erewash was truly needed.

    Peter Holden

    He said: "A lot of what we see is not urgent. It will wait - and people know that.

    "The bottom line is you cannot have a bespoke service at mass-produced costs. That is what the government is trying to sell."

     
  36.  
    News on the hour 11:59: Sally Swinfen Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    The top local story in my noon bulletin is the forthcoming shake-up of GP services in Ilkeston and Long Eaton.

     
  37.  
    Grant for rail carriage youth club 11:51: BBC Radio Derby

    An Ironville youth club based inside a vintage railway carriage is to get a £50,000 refurbishment.

    Ironville Youth Carriage

    The grant, given by an organisation which helps fund public sector building projects, will pay for a new kitchen, toilets and improvements to the carriage's interior.

     
  38.  
    Fly-tipping 'taken seriously' 11:42:

    Derby City Council said it took the illegal dumping of waste "very seriously", despite only issuing five fines for fly-tipping and littering in the first half of 2014.

    In a statement, it said: "Penalty charge notices are found to be an effective way of preventing further offences. However, it is important to bear in mind the amount of resource available in Nottingham differs significantly compared with Derby."

     
  39.  
    Your photos: Shimmering Lathkill 11:32: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    Thank you to Chris Morriss for this lovely photo of the River Lathkill at Lathkill Dale.

    River Lathkill

    Email or tweet us your finest pictures of Derbyshire and East Staffordshire and I'll show the best on Local Live.

     
  40.  
    Cricket commentary 11:19:

    Play has started on day two of Derbyshire's County Championship match against Worcestershire at the County Ground.

    You can listen to live commentary via the BBC Sport website or keep track of the scorecard here.

     
  41.  
    A52 delays 11:10:

    A lane is closed on the A52 westbound in Spondon following an accident, warns BBC Travel News.

     
  42.  
    Have your say 11:08: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you news, sport, travel and weather updates in one place. We'd like to know what you think of the service, which we write here in Derby.

     
  43.  
    News on the hour 10:58: Sally Swinfen Newsreader

    GP services in Ilkeston are changing to allow patients to see a doctor from eight in the morning until eight at night, and on weekends as well as weekdays.

    Find out more in my 11:00 bulletin on BBC Radio Derby.

     
  44.  
    Lightning girl made to wait 10:40: Burton Mail

    A schoolgirl was made to wait 40 minutes for an ambulance after being struck by lightning in Swadlincote.

     
  45.  
    Out-of-hours GPs 10:25: BBC Radio Derby

    A pilot scheme is being started in Ilkeston next month which should give patients increased access to GPs on weekday evenings and weekends.

    The trial, due to be extended to Long Eaton in January, is aimed at reducing strain on hospital A&E departments.

     
  46.  
    New deal for striker 10:16: Owen Bradley BBC Radio Derby Sport

    Derby County head coach Steve McClaren says Chris Martin's new four-year contract at the club makes a "fantastic statement".

    Chris Martin in action against Nottingham Forest

    The Rams' top scorer had been going in to the final year of his existing deal, but has removed any doubts about his future by agreeing new terms.

     
  47.  
    Twins against the odds 10:05: Derby Telegraph

    A pioneering "wonder drug" paved the way for a Chellaston mum to have twins - a year after doctors said her chances of having more children were practically nil.

     
  48.  
    Latest headlines 09:58: Sally Swinfen Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    In my 10:00 bulletin, we'll have more on Derby City Council's record on tackling fly-tipping and litter. Listen live.

     
  49.  
    Fly-tipping fines compared 09:49: Chris Doidge BBC Radio Derby political reporter

    Between January and June this year, Derby City Council's neighbourhoods team handed out five fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping and littering across the city.

    Looking at what other authorities do, that appears to be a very small figure. Nottingham hands out several thousand a year for litter alone, while Westminster in London hands out more than 10,000 a year.

    Even Denbighshire - a rural Welsh county with a population far smaller than Derby - handed out more than 1,000 littering fines in just a few months.

     
  50.  
    Transfer deadline day 09:40:

    The football transfer deadline is 23:00 this evening. BBC Sport will be bringing you the latest movements and deals across the day.

    Transfer deadline day page
     
  51.  
    Cash for forces memorial 09:27:

    The government has pledged £1m to maintain the National Armed Forces Memorial in Alrewas, Staffordshire.

    National Armed Forces Memorial

    David Cameron said the extra cash would ensure the memorial, at the National Memorial Arboretum, could carry on commemorating more than 16,000 people who have died on duty since World War Two.

     
  52.  
    Man seriously hurt in assault 09:09:

    A 29-year-old man was seriously injured during an assault in Glossop on Saturday, police say.

    Four people were arrested following the altercation, which happened at about 20:00 in Henry Street.

     
  53.  
    News on the hour 08:56: Sally Swinfen Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    Derby City Council is rarely using the powers available to it to tackle fly-tipping and litter. I'll bring you more on this in my 09:00 bulletin.

     
  54.  
    Cricket: Derbyshire pass 300 08:51:

    Derbyshire reached 323-8 on the first day of their County Championship match against Worcestershire.

    Day two is due to get under way at 11:00 at the County Ground with full commentary available on the BBC Sport website.

     
  55.  
    Road shut for widening 08:42:

    Derbyshire County Council tweets: Wyaston Road, Ashbourne, closed 1 Sep to 10 Oct so that the road can be widened due to housing development. Diversions in place.

     
  56.  
    AS IT HAPPENED
    • News, sport, travel, weather for Mon 1 Sep
    • More updates from 08:00 on Tuesday
    • Listen to BBC Radio Derby
     
  57.  
    Five fly-tipping fines 08:29: BBC Radio Derby

    Derby City Council is rarely using the powers available to it to tackle fly-tipping and litter.

    Normanton dumped waste

    The authority wants the law changed so that prosecutions can be brought more easily but BBC Radio Derby has been told the council's neighbourhoods team issued just five fines in the first six months of this year.

     
  58.  
    Accident partially blocks road 08:18:

    BBC Travel News reports the A444 Stanton Road, in Stapenhill, is partially blocked following an accident involving a car and motorbike.

     
  59.  
    Overcast day 08:07: Charlie Slater BBC Weather

    It's a drizzly start to the day, but the rain should slip away by late morning leaving an overcast afternoon with highs of 20C (68F).

     
  60.  
    Good morning 08:00: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    Hi everyone. I'll be bringing you all of today's news, sport, travel and weather updates.

    If you'd like me to feature your comments or photos, send them to derby.locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweet us @bbcderby.

     

Features

  • Women doing ice bucket challengeChill factor

    How much has the Ice Bucket Challenge achieved?


  • Women in front of Windows XP posterUpgrade angst

    Readers share their experiences of replacing their operating system


  • Members of staff at James Stevenson Flags hold a Union Jack and Saltire flag UK minus Scotland

    Does the rest of the UK care if the Scots become independent?


  • Ernest Hemingway, as war correspondent, travelling with US soldiers to Normandy for the D-Day landingsAbandoned hero

    Why Paris is forgetting Ernest Hemingway


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • BlueNew blue

    Meet the artist, showman and inventor who created a colour that had never existed before

Programmes

  • Art installationClick Watch

    How one artist is using computer code to turn internet radio into a unique piece of music

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.