Derby fire deaths: Three guilty of Philpott children's deaths

Mick and Mairead Philpott, Paul Mosley Mick and Mairead Philpott, and Paul Mosley, will be sentenced on Wednesday

The parents who started a blaze which killed six children as they slept have been convicted of their manslaughter.

Mick and Mairead Philpott, and friend Paul Mosley, were found guilty of starting the fire in Derby to frame a former mistress in a custody battle.

The jury at Nottingham Crown Court returned unanimous decisions on Mosley and Mick Philpott while Mairead Philpott was convicted by a majority.

A senior police officer said it was the most tragic case he had worked on.

Five of the Philpott's children died in their home in Victory Road and the sixth, from a previous relationship, died in hospital.

'Violent and controlling'

Analysis

TV dramatisations of a courtroom are often wide of the mark. Criminal trials are usually more forensic style analysis than gladiatorial battle.

But there were moments of pure theatre during the six week Derby house fire trial. Invariably they involved the main prosecutor, Richard Latham QC.

Often found at the Old Bailey, he was brought in by the Crown Prosecution Service before the Philpotts had even been charged with killing their children.

His past cases include the successful prosecution of the notorious Soham murderer Ian Huntley. His exchanges during cross-examination of Mick Philpott will live long in the memory.

"You were in this together weren't you," he said. Philpott tearfully replied he wasn't: "I swear on my children's resting place." Mr Latham's response: "Don't descend to that. Don't demean yourself."

Derbyshire Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill said: "There are six little kids there that have not got the chance to grow up.

"Personally I have found it very upsetting. I have become extremely angry at the needless loss of life."

Five of the children died on the morning of the fire in Victory Road, and the sixth died three days later.

Jade Philpott, 10, John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five, died on the morning of the fire on 11 May 2012.

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

Jurors heard that Philpott had been violent and controlling towards his former live-in mistress, Lisa Willis.

When she left, taking her children, he became "obsessed with getting Lisa and the kids back".

He started the fire in a bid to frame her for the crime and win custody of the children - and perhaps obtain a bigger house - the prosecution argued.

Prosecutor Richard Latham QC said the plan had "gone completely wrong" within two minutes because the fire was far bigger than the defendants expected.

The court heard the trio planned to get all six children into one bedroom at the back of the house where they could be rescued through a window using a pre-placed ladder.

Jurors were told that Philpott was to "act the hero and victim", rescuing the youngsters and framing Ms Willis in the process.

But they were not told that he had a violent past - he was jailed in 1978 for attempting to murder a 17-year-old ex-girlfriend.

Secret recordings of the Philpotts were made by police

He stabbed her 13 times as she lay sleeping after she ended their relationship, and also attacked her mother when she intervened.

The three defendants were found guilty after less than eight hours of deliberation.

The judge, Mrs Justice Thirlwall, said the defendants would be sentenced on Wednesday.

As the court heard the guilty verdicts, Mairead Philpott looked down at the floor and appeared upset while holding a tissue in her hands.

Before leaving the dock, Mick Philpott was heard to say: "It's not over yet."

'Six angels'

In a statement read outside the court, Mick Philpott's sister Dawn Bestwick said: "Our presence in court was to find out the truth and following today's verdict we believe justice has been done.

"This past year has been a very difficult time for our family as we have had to come to terms with what Mick and Mairead and Paul Mosley have done. We can now move on and our six angels can rest in peace."

A statement read on behalf of the Duffy family, the family of Mairead Philpott, said: "Duwayne, Jade, John, Jack, Jesse and Jayden were taken away in the cruellest way imaginable by the very people that were supposed to love and protect them.

"We, Mairead's family, cannot describe the pain we feel. Today justice has been done and we are happy with the verdict."

Samantha Shallow, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said it had been a "challenging and harrowing case to prosecute".

A serious case review is being carried out by the Derby Safeguarding Children Board into the deaths but there have been no urgent recommendations to emerge so far from the process.

The children were not subject to child protection plans or legal orders. The review is not due to be completed before the summer.

When asked if the tragedy could have been foreseen, ACC Cotterill said: "My answer is a very emphatic no. What we are dealing with is the unpredictability of Mick Philpott."

Detective Constable Maria Neads read a statement on behalf of the families

More on This Story

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

BBC Derby

Weather

Derby

18 °C 13 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Murderer still missing 15:10:

    A convicted murderer is among 24 men still missing from Sudbury open prison.

    Raymond Lenihan

    Police said 12 of the men absconded between 1992 and 2006 - before the force started making public appeals.

    Ray Lenihan, 57, disappeared in May 1997 - 20 years into a life sentence for murder.

     
  2.  
    News on the hour 14:58: Jenni Hulse Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    Information has been released about 12 men who are still on the run after going missing from an open prison in Derbyshire over a 14-year period.

    I'll have more on this in my 15:00 news bulletin.

     
  3.  
    Ibe becomes a Ram 14:49:

    Derby County have signed Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe on a season-long loan.

    Jordan Ibe

    The 18-year-old completed the relevant paperwork at the club's training centre this afternoon following talks with head coach Steve McClaren.

     
  4.  
    Feedback 14:39: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your views about this service, which we write here in Derby.

     
  5.  
    Historic park gets WW1 trail 14:28:

    A poppy trail has been created at Church Gresley's Maurice Lea Memorial Park to recognise its links to World War One.

    Maurice Lea Memorial Park

    The park opened in 1930 as a tribute to a 19-year-old local soldier killed in the conflict. Now 11 plaques have been placed around the site to tell the story of how it has evolved.

     
  6.  
    Road closure warning 14:18:

    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.

     
  7.  
    Winger joins Spireites 14:09:

    Chesterfield have signed winger Gboly Ariyibi (pictured, right) on a 12-month contract.

    Gboly Ariyibi

    The 19-year-old former Southampton youth player was a free agent after leaving Leeds United in May.

     
  8.  
    News on the hour 13:58: Jenni Hulse Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    Businesses in Buxton are preparing to fight plans for a new supermarket at the former Buxton Mineral Water site. I'll have more on this in my 14:00 bulletin.

     
  9.  
    Your photos: Setting sun 13:48: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    Thank you to Keith Singleton for sending us this photo of last night's sunset in Chesterfield.

    Chesterfield sunset

    Email or tweet us your finest photographs and I'll feature some of the best on Local Live.

     
  10.  
    Zip wire added to water slide event 13:40:

    Hundreds of people are being told they have been drawn to ride a 100m water slide at a fun day in Mickleover on 7 September.

    Organisers Our Mickleover are also planning a 50m zip wire for the event, which will run from 11:00 to 19:00 in Kipling Drive.

     
  11.  
    Defender's loan extended 13:35:

    Derby County defender Josh Lelan has extended his loan spell at League One side Swindon Town by a further month.

     
  12.  
    East Midlands Today 13:14: James Roberson Reporter

    On BBC One at 13:30, I'll be taking you behind the scenes of this year's Chatsworth Country Fair.

    Motorbike display team
     
  13.  
    Charges 'were authorised' 13:05:

    A mother from Breaston says she may have to sell her car to pay off a £7,000 bill racked up by her 12-year-old son playing a game on his mobile phone.

    In a statement, T-Mobile said it was only passing on charges set by the game's provider and authorised with the customer.

    It said it was placing the bill on hold while the customer resolved the issue directly with the games provider, which has yet to comment.

     
  14.  
    News on the hour 12:58: Jenni Hulse Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    In our 13:00 bulletin we'll be hearing from an industry expert on the £7,000 bill racked up by a 12-year-old boy from Derbyshire playing a game on his mobile phone.

     
  15.  
    Concert preparations 12:39: Rob Watts Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    Here's a view from the stage for Sunday's Darley Park Concert.

    Darley Park stage view

    About 30,000 people are expected at the free event, which starts at 18:00.

     
  16.  
    Clouds piling in 12:24: Charlie Slater BBC Weather

    There's a bit of brightness around but there will be more and more cloud piling in as we make our way through the next few hours.

    It could give us a few drizzly showers this afternoon and it'll be windy too.

     
  17.  
    Man who set fire to friend jailed 12:09:

    A man who set fire to his friend after dousing him with lighter fluid has been jailed for 14 years, reports BBC News Online.

    Jake Grimshaw

    Jake Grimshaw fled after the attack and threatened to jump from a window, causing large parts of Buxton in Derbyshire to be sealed off.

    The victim is still in hospital following the attack in February, with serious burns to his face and body and damaged internal organs.

     
  18.  
    News on the hour 11:57: BBC Radio Derby

    In the 12:00 bulletin: A 12-year-old Derbyshire boy has run up a £7,000 mobile phone bill. Listen in to find out how.

     
  19.  
    Buxton supermarket plan 11:50: BBC Radio Derby

    There are plans for a new supermarket on a site in Buxton where residents fought to block one three years ago.

    Developers say the scheme, at the former Buxton Mineral Water bottling plant, would include a supermarket, restaurant and small shops.

     
  20.  
    'Explicit' texter jailed 11:35: Derby Telegraph

    A 46-year-old Derbyshire man has been jailed for sending "graphic and explicit" text messages.

     
  21.  
    Mickleover water slide: Riders chosen 11:20:

    Organisers behind a 100m inflatable water slide being set up in Mickleover say they have started contacting the 800 people who have been drawn to ride it.

    Water slide in Bristol earlier this year

    Our Mickleover said 5,000 people had applied to have a go on the slide, which will form part of a community fun day in Kipling Drive on 7 September.

     
  22.  
    Build-up to concert 11:05: BBC Radio Derby

    Preparations are continuing today's for Sunday's Darley Park Concert - Derby's annual free music event.

    Darley Park Concert

    The stage has been put in place and today the lights and public address system are being set up.

     
  23.  
    News on the hour 10:55: Sally Swinfen Newsreader

    A 12-year-old Derbyshire boy has run up a £7,000 mobile phone bill. Find out more in my 11:00 bulletin on BBC Radio Derby.

     
  24.  
    Have your say 10:39: 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 hear what you think of the service, which we write from here in Derby.

     
  25.  
    Dog pulls girl off ride 10:24:

    A nine-year-old girl was left with leg and foot injuries after being dragged off a zip line ride by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier at Burton's Anglesey Community Park.

    Chloe with her mother Nichola Woodhead

    Police said the owner of the dog had come forward and they were continuing to investigate the incident.

     
  26.  
    YouTube video biker found guilty 10:10:

    A biker who uploaded a film of a ride in which he almost crashed head-on into a car has been found guilty of dangerous driving.

    Footage from crash video

    Jake Sanderson was given a 12-week suspended sentence after police spotted the clip, filmed on the famously twisty Cat and Fiddle road between Macclesfield and Buxton, was being watched by thousands of people on YouTube.

     
  27.  
    News on the hour 09:58: Sally Swinfen Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    In my 10:00 bulletin, I'll bring you more on a Derbyshire mother who's trying to work out how her son ended up with a £7,000 mobile phone bill.

     
  28.  
    Coming up 09:54: Colin Bloomfield Presenter, BBC Radio Derby

    I'm in for Sally Pepper for three hours from 10:00. Listen live.

     
  29.  
    Child's £7,000 phone bill 09:40: BBC Radio Derby

    A mother has complained she was not warned her 12-year-old son was building up a £7,000 bill playing a game on his mobile phone.

    Theresa Cox, from Breaston, said: "Nobody at any point alerted me to the situation."

     
  30.  
    Killer 'may never be found' 09:25: Burton Mail

    The detective leading the probe into the murder of a Burton woman has admitted police may never find her killer.

     
  31.  
    TOP HEADLINES
     
  32.  
    Cows block road 09:07: Chris Doidge BBC Radio Derby political reporter

    Slight delay on my journey into work this morning...

    Cows in the road
     
  33.  
    News on the hour 08:55: Sally Swinfen Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    A Derbyshire mum says she's trying to work out how her son ended up with a £7,000 mobile phone bill. More on this in my 09:00 news bulletin.

     
  34.  
    Keogh linked with Prem move 08:40: Owen Bradley BBC Radio Derby Sport

    Derby County boss Steve McClaren has confirmed other clubs have inquired about his players this summer, but says he is confident he can keep the squad together.

    Richard Keogh

    Reports this morning claim Burnley have made a £1.5m bid for Rams captain Richard Keogh, but McClaren says he expects the defender to sign a new deal soon.

     
  35.  
    Child's £7,000 phone bill 08:27:

    A Derbyshire mother is demanding answers after her 12-year-old son racked up a £7,000 bill playing a game on his mobile phone.

    T-Mobile told Theresa Cox, from Breaston, it was only passing on charges set by the game's developer and approved by the customer.

    Ms Cox says she should have been alerted that costs were escalating. Game developer Supercell has not commented.

     
  36.  
    Findern delays 08:15:

    A lane is blocked on the A50 in Findern because of a broken down vehicle, warns BBC Travel News.

     
  37.  
    Cool and cloudy 08:04: Charlie Slater BBC Weather

    It's a cloudy start with the occasional bright spell and there could be drizzly showers through the day. Highs of 18C (64F).

     
  38.  
    08:00: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    Good morning. I'll be bringing you today's updates for Derbyshire and East Staffordshire.

     

Features

  • Nigel Farage (left) and Douglas CarswellWho's next?

    The Tory MPs being tipped to follow Carswell to UKIP


  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814


  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea


  • Plane7 days quiz

    What unusual offence got a Frenchman thrown off a plane?


Elsewhere on the BBC

Programmes

  • ShanghaiThe Travel Show Watch

    From its high-speed trains trains to its luminescent skyscrapers - take a minute to discover Shanghai

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.