Fire deaths mother ‘has not returned’ to city where she killed her children

A mother who was freed after serving half of her 17-year jail term has not returned to the city where she killed six of her children in an arson attack.

Mairead Philpott, then aged 32, was jailed in April 2013 after being found guilty of six counts of manslaughter alongside her husband and another defendant.

Philpott, now aged 39, was released on November 27 from HMP Send in Surrey to a hostel, where she will be supervised while on licence.

House fire in Allenton
House fire in Allenton

Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham has now received assurances from Derbyshire Police that Mairead has not returned to Derby and that she is unlikely to be able to come back to the city in the coming years.

Her husband Mick Philpott was jailed for life with a minimum term of 15 years after starting the fire at the couple’s home in Allenton, Derby, on May 11 2012.

Jade Philpott, 10, and her brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five, all died in the fire, while Duwayne, 13, died in hospital three days later.

Derbyshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Kem Mehmet told Mrs Latham that recently-released Mrs Philpott had a “very low likelihood” of returning to Derby.

Mr Mehmet told her in a letter: “Mairead Philpott has not returned to the area and the risk she poses to the community will continue to be managed through established Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements where the police service, HM Prisons and other agencies will support the National Probation Service.

“Public sentiment is of great importance within the parameters of the legal framework in place.

House fire in Allenton
House fire in Allenton

“Whilst the National Probation Service retain primacy, I would offer a level of reassurance that there is a very low likelihood that the individual will be able to return to the city of Derby in the coming years.

“Were this to arise at any time before her sentence end date, this would be objectively and carefully considered by the Ministry of Justice and managed through the aforementioned arrangements.”

The Philpotts appeared at a news conference five days after the blaze, in which they both sobbed, while Mick expressed disbelief at the deaths and thanked fire crews.

A trial at Nottingham Crown Court was told Mick Philpott was the “driving force” behind the plot to start the house fire, and had intended to frame a former partner.

Passing sentence, Mrs Justice Thirlwall said six young lives had been taken due to “callous selfishness”.

The judge told Mairead, who was ordered to serve half of her sentence before release, that she believed her grief was real but said she should not have put her husband first.

House fire in Allenton
House fire in Allenton

“These were your children – your first responsibility, surely, was to them,” the judge told the court. “Instead you joined in with his plan.”

Mairead later appealed against her sentence but judges ruled the original term reflected the “immeasurable harm” she had caused.

Court of Appeal judges said petrol found on Mairead’s clothes showed she had participated in setting the fire – which had not been a “spur-of-the-moment” plan.

She had also lied after her arrest, the judges said, and continued to hide the truth during her trial.

Conservative MP Mrs Latham had written to the Attorney General and the Chief Constable of Derbyshire Police demanding Philpott did not return to Derby.

After receiving the response from ACC Mehmet, Mrs Latham said: “I remain disgusted that this woman has her liberty while her daughter and five sons lie in their graves.

“I am dismayed that she served less than 18 months for taking the lives of each of those poor children. “

“But at least the people of Derby can remain in a sort of peace, knowing that they won’t have to face her in shops or on a street corner.”