Fire deaths mother Mairead Philpott freed from jail after serving eight years

A mother who killed six of her children in an arson attack has been freed after serving half of her 17-year jail term.

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, is understood to have been released on Friday from HMP Send in Surrey to a hostel, where she will be supervised while on licence.

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Demolition work begins on Mick and Mairead Philpott's old family home on Victory Road, Derby, where the two parents set a deadly fire which killed their children.
DERBY, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Floral tributes adorn the pavement outside a house in Allenton after a fire claimed the lives of six children on May 14, 2012 in Derby, England. Duwayne Philpott, aged 13 his sister Jade, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six, and Jayden, five died in the fire which started in the early hours of last Friday. The children's father Mick Philpott, who is believed to have 17 children has been praised for his "valiant attempts" to save them. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Mick Philpott and wife Mairead speak to the media at Derby Conference Centre, Derby following a fire at their home last week which claimed the lives of six of his children. (Photo by Rui Vieira/PA Images via Getty Images)
DERBY, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Police officers place flowers on the pavement outside a house in Allenton where a fire claimed the lives of six children on May 14, 2012 in Derby, England. Duwayne Philpott, aged 13 his sister Jade, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six, and Jayden, five died in the fire which started in the early hours of last Friday. The children's father Mick Philpott, who is believed to have 17 children has been praised for his "valiant attempts" to save them. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
The funeral cortege of the Philpott children arrive at St Mary's RC Church on Bridgegate, Derby. (Photo by Rui Vieira/PA Images via Getty Images)
Mick Philpott and wife Mairead speak to the media at Derby Conference Centre, Derby following a fire at their home last week which claimed the lives of six of his children. (Photo by Rui Vieira/PA Images via Getty Images)
DERBY, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Floral tributes adorn the pavement outside a house in Allenton following the fire which claimed the lives of six children on May 14, 2012 in Derby, England. Duwayne Philpott, aged 13 his sister Jade, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six, and Jayden, five died in the fire which started in the early hours of last Friday. The children's father Mick Philpott, who is believed to have 17 children has been praised for his "valiant attempts" to save them. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
DERBY, ENGLAND - JUNE 22: Pallbearers carry the coffin Jesse Philpott to St Mary's Church on June 22, 2012 in Derby, England. Hundreds of people gathered for the funeral of Duwayne Philpott aged 13, and his siblings Jade 10, John, nine, Jack, eight, Jessie, six and Jayden, five who all died in a house fire in May. Mick and Mairead Philpott, parents of the victims have been charged with their murder. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
The coffins bearing the bodies of six children who died in a house fire are carried into St Mary's Church in Derby, central England, for a funeral service on June 22, 2012. Mick and Mairead Philpott have been charged with the murders of their children Duwayne 13, Jade, 10, John, 9, Jack 8, Jesse, 6, and Jayden, 5, in the blaze on May 11, 2012. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)
DERBY, ENGLAND - JUNE 22: Pallbearers carry some of the coffins of the Philpott children to St Mary's Church on June 22, 2012 in Derby, England. Hundreds of people gathered for the funeral of Duwayne Philpott aged 13, and his siblings Jade 10, John, nine, Jack, eight, Jessie, six and Jayden, five who all died in a house fire in May. Mick and Mairead Philpott, parents of the victims have been charged with their murder. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Mourners gather outside St Mary's Church in Derby, central England, on June 22, 2012, for a funeral service for six children Duwayne, Jade, John, Jack, Jesse, and Jayden Philpott, who died in a house fire. Mick and Mairead Philpott have been charged with the murders of their children Duwayne 13, Jade, 10, John, 9, Jack 8, Jesse, 6, and Jayden, 5, in the blaze on May 11, 2012. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)
The coffins bearing the bodies of six children who died in a house fire are carried into St Mary's Church in Derby, central England, for a funeral service on June 22, 2012. Mick and Mairead Philpott have been charged with the murders of their children Duwayne 13, Jade, 10, John, 9, Jack 8, Jesse, 6, and Jayden, 5, in the blaze on May 11, 2012. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)
Jimmy Duffy, the father of Mairead Philpott, hugs daughter Bernadette, outside Nottingham Crown Court, as Mick and Mairead Philpott, were convicted by jurors at the court of the unlawful killing of the six siblings in the blaze at the family home in Victory Road, Derby, on May 11 last year. (Photo by Rui Vieira/PA Images via Getty Images)
Mourners (names not known) arrive for the funeral of the Philpott children at St Mary's RC Church on Bridgegate, Derby. (Photo by Rui Vieira/PA Images via Getty Images)
Detective superintendent Kate Meynell (second right) of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill of Derbyshire Police (centre) and Jimmy Duffy, (centre left) the father of Mairead Philpott, listen as a statement is read outside Nottingham Crown Court, by Sam Shallow of the CPS, as Mick and Mairead Philpott were convicted by jurors at the court of the unlawful killing of the six siblings in the blaze at the family home in Victory Road, Derby, on May 11 last year. (Photo by Rui Vieira/PA Images via Getty Images)
The front door lies on a pile of rubble after demolition work on Mick and Mairead Philpott's old family home on Victory Road, Derby, where the two parents set a deadly fire which killed their children.
Demolition work begins on Mick and Mairead Philpott's old family home on Victory Road, Derby, where the two parents set a deadly fire which killed their children.
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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.

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.

House fire in Allenton
Mairead beside Mick Philpott at a press conference days after the fire (Rui Vieira/PA)

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 that 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 she should not have put her husband first.

"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.

House fire in Allenton
Damage caused to the home by the arson attack (CPS/PA)

The Sun on Sunday reported that the killer will be offered counselling and life coaching, and is set to be given a new identity at public expense.

A spokesman for the Prison Service, which does not comment on an individual prisoner's release, said: "Offenders released on licence face strict conditions and can be returned to prison if they breach them."

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