3 Apr 2013

Fire deaths: Philpott sentencing postponed

The sentencing of Mick and Mairead Philpott, who were found guilty of the manslaughter of their six children in a house fire, has been set back until Thursday.

The sentencing of Mick and Mairead Philpott, who killed their six children in a house fire, has been set back until Thursday

The couple, who were convicted of manslaughter yesterday, were due to be sentenced today.

Nottingham crown court heard today that Mick Philpott was on bail for a violent road rage attack at the time of the blaze.

The court also heard that in 1978 Philpott, now 56, was sentenced to seven years in prison after he repeatedly stabbed a former girlfriend when she decided she no longer wanted to be in a relationship with him.

A week before the fire which killed the six children at the family home in Victory Road, Derby, Philpott had appeared in court and pleaded guilty to common assault but denied dangerous driving. He was awaiting trial.

The court heard he punched another driver, whose teenage daughter was in the car, after Philpott swerved in front of him and forced him to stop because he believed he had pulled out in front of him at a roundabout.

In 1991 he received a two-year conditional discharge for assault occasioning ABH after he headbutted a colleague; and in 2010 he was given a police caution after slapping his wife and dragging her outside by her hair.

Anthony Orchard QC, representing Philpott, said his client’s conviction for attempting to murder his previous girlfriend was a “long time ago” and there was no evidence of anything like that being repeated.

But the judge interrupted and told him: “There’s been violence in every single relationship, has there not?”

Philpott, his 32-year-old wife and Mosley, 46, were each convicted of six separate counts of manslaughter following an eight-week trial.

Prosecutors said the trio started the fire in an attempt to frame Philpott’s former girlfriend, 29-year-old Lisa Willis, after she left the family home with her children three months previously.

She and her five children, four fathered by Philpott, had lived with the couple and their six children at the family home for 10 years until she became unhappy with the domestic set-up.

Mrs Justice Kate Thirlwall said the sentencing of Philpott, his wife Mairead and friend Paul Mosely, would be adjourned until Thursday morning.