Philpott Fire: true story of Mick and Mairead Philpott, did they commit arson attack, were they convicted?

A new Channel 5 documentary revisits the shocking deaths of six children in a house fire ten years ago

The Philpott Fire: 10 Years On will revisit the horrific arson attack which led to the deaths of the perpetrators’ children.

Mick and Mairead Philpott set fire to their own family home as part of a vicious scheme to frame Mick’s former partner and regain custody of his child.

But who are Mick and Mairead Philpot, did they mean to kill their children, and did they go to prison? Here is everything you need to know:

Mick Philpott was sentenced to life for his crimesMick Philpott was sentenced to life for his crimes
Mick Philpott was sentenced to life for his crimes

Who is Mick Philpott?

Mick Philpott came into the media spotlight for his polyamorous relaships and benefits lifestyle.

He was criticised in UK tabloids in 2006 when he asked for a larger council house for his wife Mairead, his mistress, Lisa Willis, and seven children.

Mick reportedly had 17 children with five different women and several of his partners described him as abusive.

In 1978, Philpott attempted to murder his girlfriend Kim Hill, stabbing her several times after she sent him a letter saying that she planned to leave him.

He also stabbed Kim’s mother when she intervened in the attack - Philpott was sentenced to seven years for attempted murder and greivous bodily harm and was released after three and two months.

Philpott had previously shot Hill in the leg with a crossbow and cracked her kneecap with a hammer.

Another of Philpott’s girlfriends, Heather Kehoe was 14 when Philpott, then aged 37 first met her.

They ran away together when she was 16 and she gave birth to two sons by him - Philpott beat her because he wanted a daughter.

Mick also appeared on The Jeremy Kyle show where he defended his lifestyle, and on Ann Widdecombe Versus, where she found him jobs but they fell through when he failed to turn up to work.

Who is Mairead Philpott?

Mairead Duffy was a 19-year-old single mother who had left a volatile relationship when she met Mick in 2000.

Mick and Mairead married in 2003 - Mick’s mistress Lisa, with whom he had three children, acted as a bridesmaid.

Mick was given a police caution in 2010 for slapping Mairead and dragging her by her hair.

At some point in their relationship Mairead became pregnant to another man while dogging and got an abortion after Mick told her to.

Six children died in the arson attackSix children died in the arson attack
Six children died in the arson attack

Did the Philpotts kill their children?

In the early hours of 11 May 2012 there was a fire at the Philpott’s family home in Derby and their six children aged between 5 and 13 died from smoke inhalation.

Five children died at the scene and a sixth died in hospital two days later.

In the ensuing police investigation, petrol was found inside the letterbox of the house and a murder investigation was launched.

Police bugged the Philpotts’ hotel room and found evidence that they were responsible for starting the fire, as was their friend Paul Mosley.

Further investigations found that the Philpotts’ clothes had petrol on them.

The Philpotts and Mosley were eventually charged with manslaughter as it was believed that they had not intended to kill their children - they had planned to frame Mick’s former mistress Lisa who had taken custody of children with Mick.

Were the Philpotts convicted?

Mick and Mairead Philpott and Paul Mosley were all convicted of manslaughter at their trial in 2013.

Mick Philpott was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 15 years to be served.

Both Mairead and Paul were sentenced to 17 years with at least 8 and a half years to be served before they had the chance of being released.

Mairead was released on licence in 2020 having served half of her sentence - she was given a new identity for her protection after her release.

How can I watch The Philpott Fire: 10 Years On?

The 90-minute documentary will air on Channel 5 on 10 May at 10pm.

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