Mick Philpott sentenced to life imprisonment for manslaughter of children

Mick Philpott has been sentenced to life in prison for the manslaughter of the six children who died in a house fire in Derby, with his wife Mairead sentenced to 17 years' imprisonment.


Mick and Mairead PhilpottRui Vieira-PA Wire

Mick and Mairead Philpott were found guilty on six counts of manslaughter


The Philpotts and their friend Paul Mosley, who was also sentenced to 17 years in jail, were convicted of six counts of manslaughter - one for each of the dead children - at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday.

Trial judge Mrs Justice Thirlwall had been expected to sentence the trio yesterday but wanted more time to reflect having heard mitigation on behalf of the three.



Philpott, 56, his 32-year-old wife and Mosley, 46, were all found guilty of killing Jade Philpott, 10, and her brothers John (nine), Jack (eight), Jesse (six), Jayden (five), and Duwayne (13), in the fire at their home in Victory Road, Allenton, Derby, in the early hours of May 11 last year.

In delivering the sentencing this morning, Judge Thirlwall told Mick Philpott: "[Your] plan was to cast yourself as a hero on the night of the fire - it was a wicked and dangerous plan, outside the comprehension of any right-thinking person."

The judge continued: "You did not intend to kill your children but what you did intend was to subject your children to a terrifying ordeal." 

Family members in the public gallery applauded as the judge finished her sentencing.

One shouted: "Die, Mick, die."

Another said: "See you, Mairead. Hope you enjoy life on your own."

"Your own babies," another called out.

In response, Philpott smiled and made an obscene gesture as he was led from the dock.

It had emerged in court that unemployed Philpott, who will serve a minimum 15 years in prison, was on bail for a violent road rage incident at the time of the children's deaths.

A week before the fire he had appeared in court and admitted common assault but denied dangerous driving after punching another driver who he thought had pulled out in front of him at a roundabout.

In addition, in 1978 he was sentenced to seven years in prison after he repeatedly stabbed a former girlfriend and received a concurrent five-year sentence for grievous bodily harm with intent after also attacking her mother. In 1991 he received a two-year conditional discharge for assault occasioning actual bodily harm 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.

Judge Mrs Justice Thirlwall said Philpott was the "driving force" behind the plot, and told him: "You are a disturbingly dangerous man. Your guiding principle is what Mick Philpott wants, Mick Philpott gets. You have no moral compass."

The trio started the fire in an attempt to frame Philpott's ex, 29-year-old Lisa Willis, after she left the family home with her children three months previously.

Miss Willis's brother-in-law Ian Cousins, who was originally arrested on suspicion of starting the fire after being accused by Philpott, said he hoped the couple would be handed six life sentences each.

Speaking on ITV1's Daybreak, Mr Cousins said focus should now move from the Philpotts to the children who lost their lives in the blaze, saying: "Everything that's come about has been about him and her and the other guy and what they got up to in car parks, and it shouldn't be like that. Everyone remembers the criminals and no one remembers the victims."

He also spoke of the "horrific" impact the arrest had on his family and business: "I've been through the mill and last year was a pretty bad year for me and my family and everybody else. But I'm still here to rebuild my life and get on. Unfortunately those children will never know what it's like to go on a date or drive a car or have children or get married or anything like that, because those three took it away from them."