Derby House Fire Accused Mairead Philpott Calls Husband Mick Her 'Guardian Angel'

A woman accused of killing her six children in a house fire has told a jury her husband was her "guardian angel".

Mairead Philpott told Nottingham Crown Court she was a 19-year-old single mother and at "rock bottom" when she met her husband, Michael.

Mairead Philpott in court with her husband, Mick (left), and Paul Mosley (right)

The 31-year-old is on trial for the manslaughter of her six children along with her 56-year-old husband and a third defendant, Paul Mosley.

The three are accused of plotting a fire at the couple's home in Victory Road, Derby, last May - which killed their six children, in order to frame Philpott's former mistress, Lisa Willis. The three deny the charges.

In the witness box on Monday, Mrs Philpott denied planning or setting the fire at their three-bedroom home in May last year and told the jury she did not see her husband or Mosley start the blaze.

Mrs Philpott told the court she agreed to her husband's relationship with Miss Willis, who lived with the couple until February before the fire, because she was scared of losing what she had.

Shaun Smith QC, representing Mrs Philpott, asked her: "In the early hours of 11 May last year, did you light a fire in the hallway of 18 Victory Road?"

"No," Mrs Philpott replied.

"Did you help anybody else set a fire at 18 Victory Road?" asked Mr Smith.

"No," said Mrs Philpott.

Mr Smith said: "Did you see either Mick Philpott or Paul Mosley start any fire in the hallway at 18 Victory Road?"

"No," Mrs Philpott replied.

"Were you part of any plan to start any fire in the hallway of 18 Victory Road?" Mr Smith asked.

"No, I wasn't," Mrs Philpott replied.

"Did you agree to someone else to start the fire?"

"No," Mrs Philpott said.

Mrs Philpott also denied setting the fire to frame Miss Willis.

"Would you have any interest in framing Lisa Willis?" Mr Smith asked.

"No," Mrs Philpott replied.

Mr Smith asked her whether she would ever put her children at risk.

"No, never," she replied.

"Even for Mick? Mr Smith continued.

"No," she replied.

The court has heard that Miss Willis and her five children lived with the couple and their six children for 10 years before leaving the house in Victory Road in February last year.

Prosecutors allege that the couple set the fire along with Mosley to frame Miss Willis, whom Philipott was due to meet in court on the day of the blaze to discuss custody of her five children, four of whom he had fathered.

Mrs Philpott told the court she had dreamed of being a ballerina as a child and grew up wanting to work in childcare.

But the jury heard that she was forced to leave school before taking her GCSEs because she was being bullied. She returned to take her exams but never collected her results.

She told the court her father abused her when she was three or four and that she was raped when she was a teenager while on holiday.

The father of her first child left her when she told him she was pregnant with Duwayne aged 16.

When asked how she felt about the birth of her first child, Mrs Philpott told the court: "I was over the moon. I just wanted to love him and protect him."

She told the court her next relationship was an abusive one - with her boyfriend giving her black eyes and shaving off her hair so she could not go out.

Mrs Philpott told the court she was at "rock bottom" when she met Mick.

"How did you see Michael at the beginning?" Mr Smith asked her.

"He was my guardian angel," Mrs Philpott told the jury.

The trial continues.

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