Philpott Fire: true story of Phil and Mairead Philpott arson attack

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A new Channel 5 documentary follows 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 that led to the deaths of the perpetrators’ children.

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

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But who are Mick and Mairead Philpot, did they want to kill their children and did they go to jail? Here’s everything you need to know:

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Mick Philpott was sentenced to life imprisonment for his crimes

Who is Mick Philpott?

Mick Philpott got the media spotlight for his polyamorous relationships and benefits lifestyle.

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He faced criticism in British tabloids in 2006 when he asked for a larger community center for his wife Mairead, his lover Lisa Willis and seven children.

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

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In 1978, Philpott tried to murder his girlfriend Kim Hill by stabbing her multiple times after she sent him a letter saying she planned to leave him.

He also stabbed Kim’s mother as she intervened in the attack – Philpott was sentenced to seven years in prison for attempted murder and aggravated assault and was released after three and two months.

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

Heather Kehoe, another friend of Philpott’s, was 14 when Philpott, then 37, first met her.

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They ran away together when she was 16 and she bore him two sons – Philpott hit her because he wanted a daughter.

Mick also appeared on The Jeremy Kyle Show where he defended his lifestyle and Ann Widdecombe Versus where she got him jobs but they failed when he didn’t show up for work.

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Who is Mairead Philpott?

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

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

Mick was warned by police in 2010 for hitting and pulling Mairead’s hair.

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At some point in their relationship, Mairead became pregnant while dogging with another man and was given an abortion after Mick told her.

Six children died in the arson attack

Did the Philpotts kill their children?

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In the early hours of 11 May 2012, a fire broke out at the Philpott 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.

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Subsequent police investigations found gasoline in the home’s mailbox and launched a murder investigation.

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

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Further investigation revealed that the Philpotts’ clothing contained gasoline.

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

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Were the Philpotts convicted?

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

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Mick Philpott was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum sentence of 15 years.

Both Mairead and Paul were sentenced to 17 years in prison with a minimum of 8.5 years before having a chance to be released.

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Mairead was released on license in 2020 after serving half of her sentence – after her release she was given a new identity to protect herself.

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

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The 90-minute documentary will be broadcast on Channel 5 on May 10th at 10pm.

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