Derby fire deaths: 'Possible' that Mick Philpott set fire

Mairead and Mick Philpott on 16 May 2012 Mairead and husband Michael deny the manslaughter of the six children

Related Stories

A mother accused of killing her six children in a house fire has said she "can't rule out" the possibility that her husband started the blaze.

Mairead Philpott told a jury her husband Mick could have got up at night and set the fire without her knowledge.

Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, asked if she thought her husband could have set the fire and she replied: "I honestly don't know."

Mr and Mrs Philpott and friend Paul Mosley deny six counts of manslaughter.

Mrs Philpott told Nottingham Crown Court she had been asleep in the conservatory with her husband on the night of the fire.

'It's possible'

Mr Latham asked whether she was suggesting her husband had got out of bed shortly before the fire.

Mrs Philpott replied: "It's possible, I don't know because I was asleep."

The prosecutor asked Mrs Philpott: "Are you saying that there is a possibility that your husband set this fire behind your back, literally?"

Mrs Philpott replied: "I honestly don't know. I can't rule out anybody - I just don't know who set the fire."

Mr Latham went on to question Mrs Philpott about traces of petrol found on her leggings, underwear and a sink at the fire-hit house.

Start Quote

I have told the truth. I don't know why there is petrol on my clothing”

End Quote Mairead Philpott Defendant

He asked: "What was going on with Total petrol in that sink that night?"

Mrs Philpott, who claims to have found out that the house was on fire only after being woken by a smoke alarm, replied: "I don't know."

At the conclusion of her evidence, Mrs Philpott denied all three defendants had "thought up" the fire as a way to blacken the name of her husband's former mistress.

"I have told the truth," Mrs Philpott said. "I don't know why there is petrol on my clothing."

Mrs Philpott was also asked about covert recordings in which her husband talked of "sticking with the story".

Mr Latham put it to Mrs Philpott that she and her husband had been talking about the allegation they were responsible for the fire.

But she told the jury the phrase was a reference to not telling anyone about sexual activity with Mr Mosley.

"It was about the sex," she told the court.

"I didn't want to be disgraced in the papers. My children had just died - I was more bothered about my children."

'Suicide attempt'

Mr Latham said this explanation did not make sense.

"This is not about the sex, it's about the allegation of killing your children," he said.

Earlier, Mrs Philpott said she took an overdose because she wanted her husband, his mistress Lisa Willis and all of the 11 children to be back together.

Miss Willis and her five children left the home in Derby they shared with Mr and Mrs Philpott and their children three months before the fire on 11 May.

Talking about Miss Willis, Mrs Philpott said: "She has always wanted Mick for herself."

Jade Philpott, 10, John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five, died on the morning of the fire.

Mrs Philpott's son from a previous relationship, 13-year-old Duwayne, died later in hospital.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.

More on This Story

Related Stories

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

BBC Derby

Weather

Derby

20 °C 15 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    News on the hour 11:00: Sally Swinfen Journalist, BBC Radio Derby

    In the news on BBC Radio Derby at 11:00: Police have named the man who was killed in an accident on the A38 on Friday night.

     
  2.  
    Christie v Shotton 10:53: Colin Bloomfield BBC Radio Derby journalist

    Derby County head coach Steve McClaren must decide between Cyrus Christie and Ryan Shotton (pictured left to right) for the right-back position tonight when the Rams travel to Blackburn Rovers.

    Cyrus Christie and Ryan Shotton

    Jamie Ward is also in contention after missing Sunday's 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest through injury, while Zak Whitbread will replace the suspended Jake Buxton.

    The equaliser at the City Ground was scored by Shotton but McClaren says Christie is a possibility to start.

     
  3.  
    Matlock market 10:35:

    Derbyshire Dales District Council tweets: Good morning! #Matlock is the place to #loveyourlocalmarket outdoors in the park until 4pm today @matlocktownteam

     
  4.  
    Cricket commentary 10:30: BBC Sport

    Hear ball-by-ball commentary of Surrey v Derbyshire online now.

    Keep up to date with the latest score card on BBC Sport.

     
  5.  
    Girl on library roof 10:18: Derby Telegraph

    A schoolgirl caused an alert when she climbed onto the flat roof of a former library in Heanor and began to hurl items at passing traffic on Tuesday night.

     
  6.  
    Cricket: Surrey v Derbyshire 10:09:

    Debutant Harvey Hosein made history yesterday by becoming the first Derbyshire wicketkeeper to take 11 catches in a match.

    Harvey Hosein

    Derbyshire begin their run chase at 10:30 and you can hear ball-by-ball commentary online and on 1116 AM.

     
  7.  
    News on the hour 09:58: Sally Swinfen Journalist, BBC Radio Derby

    The head of the ambulance service which covers Burton says his paramedics have never been under so much pressure.

    Hear more on this story in the news at 10:00 on BBC Radio Derby.

     
  8.  
    Behind the scenes 09:52:

    BBC Sun Politics Show East Midlands tweets: Our "behind the scenes" Vine has had nearly 750 views! Can we make it to 1,000 by Sunday? vine.co/v/OamwrQemHDt

    Behind the scenes at Sunday Politics East Midlands
     
  9.  
    Chesterfield helps dogs after Manchester fire 09:36: Derbyshire Times

    Generous folk across Chesterfield have pulled together to help 150 dogs which survived a major fire in Manchester.

     
  10.  
    Derbyshire flag 09:27: Rob Watts Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    Derbyshire Day is now just four days away and we're on a mission to get the Derbyshire flag into the most prominent position in the county.

    Derbyshire flag being flown in Crich

    This morning I've been in Crich and then went to Matlock's council building to hoist the flag.

     
  11.  
    Wimbledon 3-0 Burton 09:17:

    Burton Albion manager Gary Rowett says the manner of his team's 3-0 defeat at AFC Wimbledon last night disappoints him the most.

    It was the Brewers first defeat of the season, but they do remain top of League Two.

    Rowett says too many players had off days ahead of the game.

     
  12.  
    Top headlines
  13.  
    30-second forecast 09:07:

    Any mist and fog will gradually lift to allow for brighter spells eventually this afternoon but it make take a while.

    Forecast for this afternoon

    Watch Mel Cole's 30-second forecast online now.

     
  14.  
    News on the hour 08:58: Sally Swinfen BBC Radio Derby journalist

    A neighbour says he may have been able to help at a fatal house fire had he realised what was happening.

    Hear more from Ian Shaw in the news at 09:00 on BBC Radio Derby.

     
  15.  
    Belper out of FA Cup 08:56:

    Belper Town are out of the FA Cup - they were beaten 2-0 at Coalville Town in their first qualifying round replay.

    In the Evostik Northern Premier League Buxton won 2-1 at Kings Lynn Town.

     
  16.  
    Watching the referendum 08:38: BBC Radio Derby

    A Derby pub will allow drinkers to stay late into the night on Thursday to watch coverage of the Scottish referendum.

    Clan Derby, a group for Scots in the city, is running an event at The White Horse on The Morlege.

    Kenneth Duncan, from the group, who's in favour of independence says parts of England would probably like to go it alone as well.

     
  17.  
    Disruption on the roads 08:28:
    • There's reports of slow traffic on the M1 southbound between J30, A616 (Sheffield) and J29a, Markham (Markham Vale)
    • Drivers warned to expect delays on the A38 northbound in Derby between the A516 junction and Markeaton Island in the roadworks area

    Read the latest disruption on BBC Travel.

     
  18.  
    North Wingfield fire 08:10:

    There was a "missed opportunity" to raise the alarm during a house fire which killed two women and two children in North Wingfield, a coroner has said.

    Tyler Green, 9, and Jordan Green, 12

    Josie Leighton, 32, her two sons Tyler Green, nine, and Jordan Green, 12, and Claire James, 27, died in the fire in 2013.

    The inquest was told a neighbour heard a smoke alarm and went back to sleep.

    But the coroner said there was nothing to suggest raising an early alarm would have made a "material difference" and concluded the deaths were accidental.

     
  19.  
    Brighter this afternoon 08:03: Mel Coles BBC Weather

    It's a murky start with low cloud, mist and fog in places. It may produce some drizzle at times but gradually through the morning it'll lift and the cloud should start to thin to reveal some brighter spells this afternoon.

    However, some of it could be quite stubborn to clear. Still feeling warm though with light winds and highs of 20C (68F).

     
  20.  
    Good morning 08:00: Stephanie Barnard BBC Local Live

    I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather for Derbyshire.

    If you spot something happening in your local area which you think we should be covering email, tweet or get in touch via Facebook.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Green animalLife in green

    BBC Earth discovers some of nature's weird and wonderful creatures dressed in a colourful coat

Programmes

  • Cinema audienceClick Watch

    Brighter 3D films - the new laser-based system promising to deliver crisper, clearer movies

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.