UK & World News
Derby Fire: Philpott Was 'Guardian Angel'
A mother accused of the manslaughter of her six children in a fire at the family home has described her husband as her "guardian angel".
Mairead Philpott told the jury at Nottingham Crown Court she was at "rock bottom" when she met her husband and co-accused Mick.
On her first day giving evidence in her own defence, Philpott explained that prior to meeting her husband she had been abused as a child, raped as a schoolgirl and was in an abusive relationship where her head was shaved to stop her going out.
At the start of her evidence Philpott was asked if she started the fire at her family home, saw her husband and co-accused Paul Mosley starting the fire or was aware of any plan to start a blaze at the house in Victory Road, Derby.
Philpott also talked about her relationship with her husband and his mistress Lisa Willis, who had shared the family home.
Philpott told the court she was initially "hurt" when her husband began a relationship with Ms Willis, but consented to him having a sexual relationship with her because she was "scared of losing what I had" and did not think it would last.
Once Ms Willis had moved in to the family home Philpott said she had accepted the situation and that they were all "happy".
Even when Philpott (Mick) asked her for a divorce so he could marry his mistress, Philpott (Mairead) said she had never thought about leaving because she "loved him".
Philpott described to the jury how she came to sleep with other men, including Mosley.
She said the initial idea to go "dogging" was hers, although her husband encouraged it.
She said it was her husband's idea for her to sleep with Mosley. She said she felt "disgusted every time" they had sex but she did it to "make Mick happy".
Earlier Philpott (Mairead) described the characters of her six children who died in the house fire.
She said Duwayne was "quiet and caring", Jade was her "little princess", while Jesse was an "Irish stamper", because he had a temper.
She continued that Jack was "my blue eyed boy" and Jayden was her "miracle baby" because he was born six weeks' premature.
Philpott (Mairead) wiped away tears as she spoke of the moment she was told five of her children were dead, she said it felt like her "insides were being ripped out".
She told the jury she was not present when her eldest son Duwayne died in hospital in Birmingham, or at the time when his life support machine was switched off.
On explaining the moments after being woken up by the fire alarm Philpott said she wanted to go past her husband, "through the flames and up the stairs to the kids".
Talking about having sex with Mosley in a hotel room after the fire Philpott said she feels a "disgrace".
All three defendants deny manslaughter. The trial at Nottingham Crown Court continues.
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