They never stood a chance': Sickening images of the blackened home where six Philpott children died as their father, mother and a family friend are found guilty of killing them in botched arson plot
- Petrol-fuelled blaze broke out in the hallway of the home in May last year
- Philpotts hatched plan to set up mother of five of Mick's children, Lisa Willis, hours before custody battle
- Mick Philpott shared house with wife, Ms Willis and 11 kids he had with both women
- Blaze killed Duwayne, Jade, John, Jack, Jessie and Jayden, aged between five and 13
- After verdicts, Mick Philpott makes the sign of a cross and says: 'It's not over yet'
- His sister, Dawn Bestwick, says 'justice has been served'
- CPS: 'This has been a challenging and harrowing case to prosecute'
- Philpott 'just wanted house full of kids and benefit money that brings'
- All three defendants will be sentenced at 10.30am tomorrow
Killers: Mick Philpott (left) and his wife Mairead (right) are pictured here at a press conference in a ruse to appeal for information after the fire last year. A jury found them both guilty of six counts of manslaughter
Mick and Mairead Philpott were today found guilty of killing six of their children in a house fire as part of a botched attempt to frame his former lover.
The couple were convicted of the manslaughter of their ‘babies’ after a seven-week trial where Mick Philpott repeatedly sobbed in the dock, collapsing when the prosecution accused him of planning the fire that ended in tragedy.
But the jury refused to accept his excuse that someone had started the fire through his letter box, instead believing he was the mastermind of a plot that went 'horribly wrong'.
Philpott's friend Paul Mosley was also found guilty of six counts of manslaughter.
As the jury delivered its verdicts in respect of Philpott, he stood in the dock staring straight ahead with his hands clasped in front of him.
As the court returned guilty verdicts on his wife, he shook his head and she looked down at the floor and fought back tears while clutching a tissue in both her hands.
Mosley showed no emotion as he heard the guilty verdicts.
Before leaving the dock, as the judge rose for a short break after emotional outbursts in the packed public gallery, Philpott, wearing a grey suit, white shirt and pink tie, crossed himself and was heard to say: 'It's not over yet.'
People in the public gallery erupted in tears and shouts as the verdicts came in.
Members of the public hugged one another as they sobbed.
Members of the public hugged one another as they sobbed.
After the case, Mick Philpott's sister, Dawn, said 'justice had been served'.
In a statement read on the steps of Nottingham Crown Court by Detective Constable Maria Needs, Mick Philpott's sister Dawn Bestwick, said: 'My family and I have attended court each and every day and listened objectively to all the evidence in this trial to understand what happened to our six beautiful children on May 11, 2012.
'Our presence in court was to find out the truth. Following today's verdict, we the family of Michael Philpott, believe justice has been served.'
Scroll down for videos and audio of the 999 call
Philpott pictured with the six children, aged between five and 13, who perished in the house fire
Destroyed: The children perished when the fire tore through their home (above) in Derby, last May
Plot: A Crown Prosecution Service photo showing the ladder (left) which Philpott placed at the back of the house as part of his plan to rescue his children after starting the fire
Derbyshire Chief Constable Steve Cotterill said: 'This has to be one of, if not the most upsetting cases any of us has ever investigated.
'This is a shocking case for everyone involved. Six young children lost their lives needlessly in a fire and all our efforts have been focused on getting justice for those children.'
Samantha Shallow, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: 'Today's verdict shows that the children died as a result of the actions of Michael and Mairead Philpott and Paul Mosley when they set the fire.
'It was started as a result of a plan between the three of them to turn family court proceedings in Mr Philpott's favour. It was a plan that went disastrously and tragically wrong.
'This has been a challenging and harrowing case to prosecute.'
Scorched: The charred landing reveals just how fierce the fire was when it ripped through the house
Ravaged: The petrol-fuelled blaze broke out in the hallway of the home where Philpott lived with wife Mairead, 31, and their own six children - all of whom perished as they slept
As the verdicts came through, shocking images were released for the first time showing the charred and gutted inside of the property.
Fire investigators said temperatures in the upstairs bedrooms of 18 Victory Road in Allenton, Derby, would have reached more than 500C (932F) during the blaze and that anyone in those rooms did not stand a chance of survival.
Thick, black smoke would have quickly filled each of the rooms from floor to ceiling, rendering Jade Philpott, 10, and her brothers Duwayne, 13, John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five, unconscious in minutes.
From the moment the fire was set in the hallway in the early hours of May 11, the flames would have surged up the uPVC front door, melting the plastic, and quickly progressed up the staircase with the help of varnished wood panelling.
Doomed: Firefighters said the children would not have been able to survive the intense heat and thick smoke
All the upstairs doors were open during the blaze, allowing the smoke to quickly flood the three bedrooms in which the youngsters slept.
During the trial, prosecutor Richard Latham QC said Philpott 'just wanted a house full of kids and the benefit money that brings' and tried to set up his former lover Lisa Wills in a bid to win custody of their children.
Dave Coss, watch manager at Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, was part of the team that investigated the fire.
Speaking at Derby Kingsway fire station, Mr Coss said the children 'didn't stand a chance'.
The petrol-fuelled blaze broke out in the hallway of the home where Philpott lived with wife Mairead, 31, and their own six children – all of whom perished as they slept.
Fire-starter: A petrol can that was found near the property in Victory Road after the blaze
Evidence: Crown Prosecution Service photo of a glove and Dr Pepper bottle found near the scene of the fire
Philpott had six children with Mairead, 31, and four with girlfriend Ms Willis, 29, as well as seven others from three previous relationships.
The court heard that until three months before the blaze last May, ‘highly controlling’ Philpott shared his cramped three-bedroom semi-detached home with his wife, mistress and all 11 children he had with both women.
The court heard that in the days after the fire, Mosley visited the couple while they were being housed in a hotel by police.
Emotional reaction: A court drawing shows Mick Philpott, wife Mairead and Paul Mosley as their guilty verdicts were returned
'Upsetting and shocking case:' Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill (centre) of Derbyshire Police issues a statement outside Nottingham Crown Court after the verdicts
The room had been bugged by police and Philpott watched as his wife performed a sex act on Mosley. Afterwards he praised his wife after acknowledging that she did not want to perform the act.
Mr Latham told the jury they ‘may conclude’ the sexual favour was carried out to keep Mosley ‘onside’.
The court heard Philpott controlled all aspects of the family finances, with all benefit money paid towards the children’s upkeep along with the two women’s meagre part-time income paid straight into his account – the same arrangement he had instigated with both his first wife and another woman he then left her for.
No hope: Thick, black smoke would have quickly filled each of the rooms from floor to ceiling, rendering the six children unconscious in minutes, firefighters said
Young lives destroyed: The six coffins carrying the Philpotts's children are carried into St Mary's Roman Catholic Church for their funeral last year
Community in shock: Floral tributes adorn the pavement outside the house Philpott shared with Mairead in Allenton, Derby, after the fire on May 14 last year
Accomplice: Paul Mosley (centre), pictured visiting the scene of the fire, was found guilty of six counts of manslaughter
Mr Latham said it was only after Miss Willis left and was rehoused by the local authority that she discovered she had been entitled to more than £1,000 a month in benefits to help look after the children.
As a harrowing 999 call made by the Philpotts from the garden of their Derby home was played to the court, Philpott shouted ‘I can’t listen to it’ and attempted to leave the dock, but was subdued by security staff.
Towards the end of the call, his wife, who dabbed tears from her eyes in the dock, could be heard wailing uncontrollably in the background of the call.
The court heard that after tiring of Philpott’s ‘domineering’ behaviour, Miss Willis decided to leave him.
Exactly three months before the blaze, she walked out without warning, taking the children first to her sister’s home, then into a women’s refuge before she was eventually rehoused by the local authority.
The couple became involved in a bitter row over the residency of the children, with Philpott telling friends Miss Willis had made threats against his home and children, something he would ‘use in court to get his children back’.
Mr Latham said Philpott was deeply troubled by her leaving, to the point that he had become depressed and even tried to take his own life.
He steadily became 'obsessed with getting Lisa and the kids back' and part of his distress was because of the simple fact that Miss Willis had left him.
Denied charges: A drawing of Philpott breaking down in the witness box as he gives evidence during the trial
Denial: Mairead Philpott tells jurors she didn't know who had started the fire because she was asleep
In the dock: Mick Philpott (second from left) and wife Mairead (second from right) appear at Nottingham Crown Court along with co-defendant Paul Mosley (right) ahead of their trial
Facing justice: A prison van carrying Michael and Mairead Philpott and Paul Mosley at Nottingham Crown Court today for the start of the trial in February
The court heard how neighbours tried to rescue the children from the burning house but were beaten back by the smoke and flames.
When the bodies of the children were carried out of the house by police, Philpott ran forward and had to be restrained, Mr Latham said.
'It must have been quite clear the plan had gone horribly wrong.'
Philpott was heard telling people Miss Willis threatened to kill them or to set fire to the house.
'She was being set up as the culprit,' Mr Latham said.
Philpott told neighbours the children were in the back bedroom of the house.
'Is this where they were expected to be as part of the plan to rescue them?,' Mr Latham said.
Emotional: The Philpotts break down in tears at a press conference shortly after the fire while appealing for people to come forward with information about the blaze
Co-conspirators: Mick and Mairead Philpott on their wedding day in May 2003
Philpott told police he was playing snooker with Mosley before the fire broke out. He said Mosley left before 2am and Michael and Mairead fell asleep watching a film, but they were woken by a smoke alarm and he discovered a large fire in the hall.
He called 999 and handed the phone to his wife before climbing a ladder in the back garden and smashing a hole in the back window. He said the black smoke beat him back.
Police reported his behaviour following the fire as 'unusual', the court heard.
One constable said Philpott showed 'no emotion' and acted as if at a social event.
At the hospital, onlookers described him as looking 'spotlessly clean' for someone who had been in a house fire, Mr Latham said.
The Philpotts and Mosley, a fork-lift truck driver and also from Derby, each denied six counts of manslaughter.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2302741/Guilty-Mick-Mairead-Philpott-convicted-killing-children-house-botched-plan-frame-mistress.html#ixzz2PKR0c2zD
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