UK & World News
Derby House Fire Deaths Mum 'Loved Her Kids'
A woman accused of starting a fire that killed her six children 'was a great mum who wouldn't hurt a hair on a child's head,' a court has heard.
Mairead Philpott, her husband Mick and his friend Paul Moseley are charged with manslaughter after the couple's children died following a fire at their Derby home in May last year.
They all deny the six counts of manslaughter.
On day four of the case at Nottingham Crown Court, Philpott's ex-mistress agreed with a defence lawyer that Mairead Philpott was a good mother who loved her children.
Lisa Willis lived with the Philpotts at their house where she had a sexual relationship with Philpott. At one time 11 children lived there. Ms Willis had four children with Philpott, and one from a previous relationship.
Prosecutors allege Philpott tried to discredit Ms Willis by framing her for the fire in the midst of a custody battle after she left with her children.
It was a plan that "went horribly wrong", according to the prosecution.
The jury was told Mairead Philpott attempted suicide after Ms Willis left. She regarded her husband's former mistress "as the sister she never had".
Cross-examining Ms Willis, Shaun Smith QC, the wife's barrister, said Mairead Philpott was a "great mum who wouldn't harm a hair on a child's head, let alone her own".
Ms Willis agreed, saying: "Yes, that's correct."
Giving her evidence behind a screen, Ms Willis denied threatening to kill Philpott in a phone call made 10 days before the fatal fire.
She revealed the windows of the house in Victory Road, Derby were kept locked because the children used to mess about with them.
Ms Willis believed Mairead Philpott was scared of her husband. She would nod in agreement to whatever he said, including when he asked his wife if it was okay to sleep with Ms Willis.
Jade, 10, and her brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, Jayden, five, and Duwayne, 13, all perished after a fire that engulfed their home in Victory Road, Allenton, Derby, as they slept in their beds in the early hours of May 11.
The trial continues.
Related Stories: Mick Philpott's Lover: 'Wife And I Took Turns' Derby House Fire: Children's Parents On Trial
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