Mairead Philpott televised sentence appeal rejected

INTERACTIVE
  • ×

    Appeal court

  • The Court of Appeal

    ×

    The Court of Appeal is the second most senior court in the English legal system. Its criminal division hears appeals against conviction and sentence from the Crown Court. It is not one physical court. It sits in up to 12 courts in the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand in London. But it can sit elsewhere.

  • The judges

    × Lord Chief Justice

    There are 38 permanent judges who sit in the Court of Appeal. They are known as Lord or Lady Justices of Appeal. There were three judges sitting today.

    Lord Thomas, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales (pictured), is head of the judiciary and head of the criminal division of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice MacDuff and Mr Justice Flaux are High Court judges.

    Lord Thomas dismissed Mairead Philpott's appeal, saying the trial judge was right in her assessment of the case and that the 17-year sentence could not be criticised.

  • The hearing

    ×

    Today's hearing was what is known as a renewed application by Mairead Philpott, who was seeking to appeal her sentence for the manslaughter of six children following a trial at Nottingham Crown Court in April.

    This means that an application to appeal has been considered by a single judge, who acts as a filtering system for the full Court of Appeal, and has been rejected.

    Mairead Philpott exercised her right to renew her application in front of the whole court - but it was dismissed.

  • The appellant

    × Mairead Philpott

    Mairead Philpott was not in court on Friday - which is not unusual for these sorts of hearings.

    For an appeal against sentence to succeed, the Court of Appeal must be satisfied that the sentence is excessive. That means it must be satisfied that the sentence passed was outside the appropriate range for the offence and the offender in the particular case. It is not enough that it was more than the Court of Appeal itself would have passed.

  • The lawyers

    × Lawyers

    Shaun Smith QC (right), counsel for Mairead Philpott, argued that she had not been strong enough to stand up to her husband, Mick Philpott.

    Richard Latham QC, for the prosecution, said she was very much part of a plan hatched over a period of time.

Related Stories

A mother who was convicted of killing her six children in a house fire in Derby has had an appeal against her sentence rejected.

Mairead Philpott, who was handed a 17-year sentence for manslaughter last year, had her appeal televised from Nottingham Crown Court.

Paul Mosley, who received the same sentence for the children's deaths, withdrew his appeal.

Mick Philpott, the victims' father, has not appealed against his life sentence.

'Loving parent'

Court of Appeal judges dismissed a renewed application by Mairead Philpott to challenge the length of her jail term.

Analysis

The most common ground for appealing a sentence to the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal is that it is "manifestly excessive".

That means the court must be satisfied that the sentence passed was outside the appropriate range of sentences available for the sentencing judge in respect of the offence and the offender in the particular case.

Although it is important for public confidence there is consistency in sentencing, judges who pass sentence at the crown court are entitled to use their discretion.

They will consider the particular case and any sentencing guidelines, but it is only if they stray outside a reasonable range of sentences that an appeal can succeed.

The Appeal Court judges will have considered written grounds of appeal before the hearing, a written response from the Crown, and the remarks of the sentencing judge.

Winning a sentencing appeal can be an uphill task, but sentencing judges do make mistakes, and the appeal process is a vital safeguard in ensuring that sentences are fair and appropriate.

Lord Chief Justice Sir John Thomas said: "We have after examination of the circumstances and careful consideration of the judge's remarks come to the conclusion without any hesitation that this appeal must be dismissed.

"There is no doubt at all that she [Mairead Philpott] was a loving and caring parent. She brought up the children well. There was no doubt she had genuine grief at the loss of her children."

But he added that it was "extremely difficult" to understand why she did not "expose Michael Philpott's lie" during the trial and the extensive period when she was separated from his "controlling influence".

"She will always be seen, as Mr Smith [her barrister] put it, as a child killer. She will never be allowed children or contact with children," Lord Thomas said.

Speaking outside court, Mairead Philpott's sister Jennifer Duffy said: "She should have been given life.

"She should have spoken up for her children but she decided not to."

Filming at the Court of Appeal was allowed for the first time last month following a partial lifting of the long-standing ban on cameras in court.

Courts minister Shailesh Vara said giving people the opportunity to see and hear the decision of judges sitting in Nottingham was a "significant step towards achieving our aim of having an open and transparent justice system".

"Justice must be seen to be done and today marks another important step towards opening up the court process to bring justice closer to the public," he added.

Lord Chief Justice Sir John Thomas handed down the ruling.

Mairead Philpott's first appeal, along with Paul Mosley's, was rejected in July. The reasons for this were not made public.

Earlier this year, Mairead's legal team said an appeal would be made on the grounds her role was "not as substantial as the trial judge had assessed".

Philpott, her husband Mick and family friend Mosley were convicted of manslaughter for the fire at Victory Road, Derby, in May 2012.

Jade Philpott, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, seven, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five, died in the blaze.

Duwayne Philpott, who was 13, died three days later in hospital.

More on This Story

Related Stories

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

BBC Derby

Weather

Derby

6 °C 1 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    13:08: Rams interviews Owen Bradley BBC Radio Derby Sport

    I'm at Derby County's training ground where I'll be interviewing Steve McClaren and Ryan Shotton.

     
  2.  
    12:54: News on the hour BBC Radio Derby

    In the 13:00 news bulletin: Derbyshire chocolate firm Thorntons has reported a fall in both sales and profits for the half-year - in what it described as a "disappointing" overall performance.

     
  3.  
    12:46: Have your say Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.

     
  4.  
    12:36: Severe delays on M1 BBC Travel

    A broken down vehicle has led to a lane being closed on the M1 southbound between J29 and J28.

     
  5.  
    12:24: Sunday night river rescue Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    Fire crews rescued a man who had tumbled 50m into a river in New Mills last night.

    River rescue

    Firefighters had to tread carefully on the slippery bank to pull the man to safety and help him into a waiting ambulance.

     
  6.  
    12:11: Midlands councils to team up John Hess Political editor, East Midlands

    Significant new powers over transport, housing and the local economy are to be devolved to Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire by the government.

    It's the biggest shift in powers from Whitehall in generations, but the deal requires local councils to combine into one super authority. So what could it all mean?

    Read more in my latest blog entry.

     
  7.  
    11:59: News on the hour Sally Swinfen Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    In my 12:00 bulletin, a Swadlincote GP says more should be done to encourage young doctors into General Practice.

     
  8.  
    11:34: Your photos: Ladybower sheep Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    Thank you to Keith Bown for this fabulous shot of blue skies and sheep at Ladybower Reservoir.

    Sheep near Ladybower Reservoir

    If you've taken any great pics of Derbyshire, email them to locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweet us at @bbcderby

     
  9.  
    11:18: Did your child get in?

    Derbyshire County Council tweets: Parents can log in to see their child's secondary school place for Sep. 98.9% have one of their preferred schools bit.ly/1vRVJld

     
  10.  
    11:00: News on the hour Sally Swinfen Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    Derbyshire chocolate firm Thorntons has reported a fall in both sales and profits for the half year in what it described as a "disappointing" overall performance.

    Sally Swinfen

    I'll bring you more on this in my 11:00 bulletin.

     
  11.  
    10:43: Stranger danger incident Derbyshire Times

    Police are appealing for information after a man tried to lure a 11-year-old boy into a car in the Peak District.

     
  12.  
    10:28: Foolow land to be sold Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    The Peak District National Park Authority is planning to sell an area of land it was forced to pay £650,000 for three years ago to prevent it becoming a static caravan site.

    The land, in Foolow, was purchased by the authority in 2012 after it missed the word "touring" out of a planning consent notice and a private firm tried to buy it.

    Now it plans to sell the land to recoup the cost - but wants to amend its conditions to make sure static caravans are precluded this time.

     
  13.  
    10:16: Pitchford champ after comeback Owen Bradley BBC Radio Derby Sport

    Chesterfield's Liam Pitchford has retained his men's singles title at the English Senior National Table Tennis Championships.

    Liam Pitchford

    He was 3-0 down to Paul Drinkhall in the final but saved two championship points to storm back and take the title by four sets to three.

     
  14.  
    10:06: Breakdown leads to delays BBC Travel

    A broken down car is blocking a lane on the M1 southbound between J30 and J29a.

     
  15.  
    09:57: News on the hour Sally Swinfen Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    In my 10:00 bulletin, Derbyshire chocolate firm Thorntons reports a fall in both sales and profits.

     
  16.  
    09:48: Man bit police officers Burton Mail

    A reveller who had to be sprayed with CS gas after biting two police officers has narrowly escaped going straight to jail.

     
  17.  
    09:27: Chocolate firm's profits dip

    Thorntons has reported a fall in both sales and profits for the second half of 2014.

    Thorntons shop

    The firm said supply problems at its new Derbyshire warehouse also affected its figures.

     
  18.  
    09:12: McClaren: 'We go again' BBC Sport

    Derby County head coach Steve McClaren is remaining positive despite the 2-0 defeat to Fulham at the weekend.

    Steve McClaren

    "We'll have one or two more bad days at the office, I can guarantee that, but the key thing is we just shake it off and go again.

    We've missed an opportunity, but there will be others and we have to make sure we take them."

     
  19.  
    09:00: News on the hour Sally Swinfen Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    A Derby woman who's been campaigning for mobility scooter drivers to sit a proficiency test says more needs to be done to make them safer.

    You can hear more on this in my 09:00 bulletin.

     
  20.  
    08:50: Snake Pass crash BBC Travel

    The A57 Snake Pass is partially blocked in Bamford following an accident.

     
  21.  
    08:37: Exasperation at Spondon potholes Derby Telegraph

    Residents in Spondon have described potholes in the village as an "absolute nightmare".

     
  22.  
    08:15: M1 queues BBC Travel

    There are delays on the M1 northbound at J29 because of a broken down vehicle.

     
  23.  
    08:04: Icy morning Anna Church Weather Presenter, BBC East Midlands Today

    A cold start with a Met Office yellow warning of snow and ice in place until 10:00.

    Anna Church

    There could be a few isolated wintry showers this morning but it should be a mostly dry afternoon with plenty of sunshine. Highs of 6C (43F).

    More details here.

     
  24.  
    08:00: Happy Monday Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    Hi everyone. I'll be bringing you today's news, sport, travel and weather for Derbyshire and East Staffordshire.

    I'd really like to hear from you too, so email derby.locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweet us at @bbcderby with your photos and comments.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • KnucklesGood or bad?

    For many it can be very satisfying to 'crack' the bones in your hand, but is it bad for you?

Programmes

  • BatteriesClick Watch

    More power to your phone - the lithium-ion batteries that could last twice as long

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. 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.