UK

Derby House Fire: Mick Philpott 'Did Not Shower For 12 Weeks'

14/03/2013 15:04 GMT | Updated 14/03/2013 15:11 GMT

A man accused of starting a fire that killed six of his children has told a court he did not shower or use the bath for 12 weeks before the incident.

Michael Philpott said this explained why petrol had been found on his clothes, saying he had lent a grass strimmer to a neighbour.

The 56-year-old also said he rarely changed his clothes, wearing the same boxer shorts and jogging bottoms and changing only his T-shirts daily.

"I try to stick to the ones I'm wearing because I don't do a lot of work," he told the court.

Philpott, 56, his wife Mairead, 31, and a third defendant, Paul Mosley, are on trial for the manslaughter of their six children in a house fire at their home in Victory Road, Derby, on May 11 last year. All three deny the charges.

Shaun Smith, representing Mairead Philpott, cross-examined Philpott on Thursday, asking about the sexual relationships between the three defendants.

Smith asked Philpott: "It's all about you, isn't it?"

Philpott replied: "It's all about L-O-V-E - love."

Later, Smith accused Philpott of trying to "blacken" his wife's name with claims about sex and drugs.

The court has heard that the couple were involved in a threesome with Paul Mosley in the hotel following the fatal fire at their home.

However on Wednesday Philpott claimed there were other occasions while they were staying in the hotel that Mairead had sex with Mosley without his knowledge.

He also claimed that he, his wife and Lisa Willis, who lived in the house until February 2012, had been lovers while they lived together at Victory Road.

"It's something we didn't want to come out," he replied.

Philpott also claimed that all three of them smoked cannabis each night in the hotel.

Smith said: "She (Mairead) smoked it once to help her sleep."

He then asked Philpott: "You are seeking to blacken Mairead, aren't you?"

Later, he asked Philpott whether he had started the fire while his wife was asleep in the conservatory.

"Did you start the fire or arrange the fire while Mairead was asleep?" he asked.

Philpott paused for a few moments before he said, sobbing: "I love my kids and I would never endanger them."