06/03/2013 09:45 GMT

Derby House Fire Accused Mick Philpott 'Couldn't Believe' He Was Arrested

A father accused of killing his six children in a house fire told police he could not believe he was being arrested over the blaze, a court has heard.

Det Con Steven Barnes, from Derbyshire Police, told Nottingham Crown Court that Michael Philpott said: "I just can't believe this is happening" when he was arrested along with his wife Mairead over the fatal house fire at their three-bedroom house on Victory Road in Allenton, Derby, last May.

Mick Philpott was due to meet his ex-girlfirend at a court hearing over access to their children on the day of the fire

Philpott cried in the dock on Wednesday as the constable read out his interview with police on 29 April following his arrest for the fire which claimed the lives of his children on 11 May.

At the start of the interview at Ripley police station, Philpott told Det Con Barnes: "I just can't believe this is happening. I don't think you understand what it is like losing six children," the court heard.

Describing the night of the fire, Philpott told Det Con Barnes he and his wife had been woken up by the downstairs smoke alarm.

Philpott said he did not see any flames when he went into the living room, just a "bright light".

He told the constable he did not know there was a fire until flames and black smoke "shot" out through the living room doorway, Det Con Barnes told the court.

Philpott told the constable he tried several times to smash the window into his daughter Jade's back bedroom but could not get into the house.

"This horrible thing, I dream it every night," he told the police officer.

He told Det Con Barnes he dreamed about not being able to get into his daughter's bedroom and that he felt "far away" from her.

"I smashed the windows about five times. I wish now I'd got in. It would have been me in that morgue and not my kids," Philpott said, the court heard.

During the interview, Philpott told officers the day before the fire had gone as normal with him taking the children to school then playing snooker with Paul Mosley at the house before going to bed with Mairead in the conservatory.

Six siblings died as a result of the fire on May 11 - Jade, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six and Jayden, five, died during the blaze.

Their brother Duwayne, 13, was taken to Derby Royal Hospital and transferred to Birmingham Children's Hospital, but died three days later.

Their parents, Mick and Mairead Philpott, and a third defendant, Paul Mosley, 46, are on trial over the deaths of the children. They have each denied six counts of manslaughter.

The prosecution claim the children's deaths were the result of a botched "plan" to frame 56-year-old Philpott's former mistress, Lisa Willis.

The court has heard how Miss Willis, 29, left the home she had shared with the couple and their six children in February, taking her five children with her.

The jury has been told Philpott and Miss Willis were due to face each other at a court hearing over access to the five children, four of which he had fathered, on the day of the blaze.

The trial continues.

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