Tapes reveal plan of father accused of killing six children

March 5, 2013 | By More

LONDON: The father accused of killing six of his children in a house fire was secretly recorded asking his wife “are we sticking to the story?” on the way to court, a jury was told on Monday.

Detectives bugged the prison van taking Michael Philpott, 56, and his wife Mairead, 31, to a magistrates’ court after they were both charged over the blaze.

He is also alleged to have told her: “They’ve got nothing on me, nothing.”

On the tapes, played to the trial at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday, Philpott — who has fathered 17 children with a string of women — was also heard saying “I didn’t mean to do it”, prosecutors claimed.

But that remark is disputed by the defence, which claims it is obscured by background noise from the van.

The Philpotts, along with ‘best friend’ Paul Mosley, 46, are accused of starting the fire as part of a plot to ‘frame’ Philpott’s ex-lover, Lisa Willis, 29, who had walked out on him with their five children.

The court has heard how Philpott lived in a ‘three-way relationship’ for a decade with his wife and Willis, raising 11 children with them, at the semi-detached council house in Derby which he is accused of torching.

He and Mairead were bugged on their way to Derby magistrates’ court for their first appearance in May last year, 20 days after the fire and two days after they were arrested.

During the ten-minute conversation, Mairead could be heard crying as her husband asked: “Do you know something? Have they got any evidence on you? They’ve got nothing on me, nothing.”

She replied: “There is a fingerprint on the window”, before Philpott said: “That’s it? A few discrepancies, that’s all it is. I love you so much. Look at me; we will walk free and prove our innocence, right? And then we will sort them out, I promise you.”

Philpott was also heard saying: “My brief said that for the judge to do what he is doing he’s got to have big ba**s because there is no evidence, they’ve got nothing, there is no petrol on me, on my trousers, no glass. We have got nothing to worry about, just stick by what we’ve said.” He then whispered: “You definitely sticking with the story?”

Philpott also allegedly told her: “Don’t say nothing now, don’t say nothing. Don’t you worry, we’ll walk through it baby, I promise you that.” He asked his wife if she wanted him to “blab about it”, to which she replied ‘no’.

Philpott then added: “We’ll get to see the babies buried, you know don’t you, they can’t stop that, we have to hold our heads up really high when we do that.”

The court heard detectives from the Serious and Organised Crime unit listened to each snippet of conversation hundreds of times before preparing a transcript.

The court has previously heard how Philpott put the police family liaison officer in a headlock during one visit and referred to his dead children as ‘little s****’ on at least two occasions.

The couple, together with forklift driver Mosley, all of Derby, are each charged with the manslaughter of the Philpotts’ children — Duwayne, 13, Jade, ten, John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five. All three defendants deny the charges.

The trial continues.

Category: European Crises

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