UK

Mick Philpott's Wife Mairead To Appeal Against Sentence For Killing Children In House Fire

19/05/2013 20:18 BST

Mairead Philpott, jailed for 17 years for killing her six children in a house fire, is to appeal against the length of her sentence, her lawyer has said.

The 32-year-old was jailed alongside her husband Mick Philpott at Nottingham Crown Court last month after being found guilty of the manslaughter of Jade Philpott and her brothers John, Jack, Jesse, Jayden and Duwayne.

At the sentencing hearing, Mrs Justice Thirlwall told Mairead Philpott she had ignored "obvious" risks to her children's lives by going along with a plan to set fire to her home in Allenton, Derby.

Speaking to BBC Radio Nottingham earlier on Sunday, defence barrister Shaun Smith QC confirmed that lawyers were planning to take the case to the Court of Appeal.

Mr Smith, who represented Mairead Philpott during her trial, said of the 17-year jail term: "We think it was too long and we are going to the Court of Appeal to see whether or not we can persuade the Court of Appeal to reduce the sentence.

"She was instrumental in killing six children, but we feel as though her role in the killing of the six children was not as substantial as the trial judge has assessed.

"We'll have to wait and see what the Court of Appeal say. It may well be that the Court of Appeal give us short shrift."

Mick Philpott was jailed for life with a minimum term of 15 years after being branded a "disturbingly dangerous" man.

His wife, who is likely to be released after serving half of her 17-year term, took part in a plan to set fire to the couple's home in Victory Road in an effort to frame his former mistress.

Following the trial, Derbyshire Police said none of the defendants had shown any remorse for killing the children, who were aged between five and 13.

Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Kate Meynell said: "They have lied throughout the investigation and court case.

"There were plenty of opportunities to admit their guilt but they never did and persisted with their denials."

During his radio interview, Mr Smith described Mairead Philpott as being "very scared" and "very vulnerable".

The barrister told the BBC: "She was clearly someone who had been in a horrendous relationship, as the court heard.

"She was someone who quite frankly was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"It was a very upsetting case for everybody involved and I think it took a little piece out of me at the end of the day."