Allenton house fire

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The Allenton house fire occurred on 11 May 2012 at 18 Victory Road, a semi-detached house in a residential street in Allenton, Derby, Derbyshire, England.[1] Five children died at the scene, while the oldest later died in hospital.[2] The parents of the children, Mairead and Mick Philpott, were later arrested and charged with murder, along with their friend Paul Mosley.[3] In December 2012 their charges were downgraded to manslaughter. On 2 April 2013, Mick Philpott and Paul Mosley were found guilty by unanimous verdicts, while Mairead Philpott was found guilty by majority verdict.

Fire[edit]

The children were asleep upstairs in the house when the fire began, with their parents downstairs.[2] Their father, Mick Philpott, was reported to have made "valiant" attempts to save them.[2] Jade Philpott (10), John Philpott (9), Jack Philpott (7), Jesse Philpott (6) and Jayden Philpott (5) were all killed in the fire; post-mortem tests revealed the children died of smoke inhalation.[2] Their brother, Duwayne Philpott (13) died in hospital two days later.[2] Two adults suffered minor injuries in the fire, but have not been formally identified.[1]

Police confirmed that the fire was started deliberately, with petrol underneath the letterbox,[4] in an act of arson, stating that "Initial indications are that it was deliberately set and as a result six children have been unlawfully killed."[5]

A church service was held in memory of the children at the Catholic church of St George's in Littleover.[6] A charity, Catch Me When I Fall, was set up by local residents to help the family of the children.[7] A book of condolence at Derby Cathedral was later signed by hundreds of people.[8]

Arrests[edit]

A 38-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of murder, but were later released without charge following questioning.[7] Following the release of the pair Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill said that "While I thank those members of the community who have come forward with information I am surprised by how few people have contacted us. Normally in cases of this scale more information is passed to the police...I strongly suspect that there is someone out there in the community who knows more than we are being told."[5]

The parents of the children, Mick and Mairead Philpott, were arrested on suspicion of murder on 29 May and charged with their murders the following day.[4]

On 5 November 2012, a 49-year-old man and a 45-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of murder. Later that day, the 45-year-old man, Paul Mosley, was charged with murder. The other man was released without charge. Mosley appeared in court the following day. In December 2012 his charge was downgraded to manslaughter. Paul Mosley had previously been arrested in the enquiry and was released on bail in June 2012. He was re-arrested and charged when petrol was found on his clothing following further forensic examination.[9]

Trial[edit]

The criminal trial began on 12 February 2013 at Nottingham Crown Court before judge Mrs Justice Thirlwall. Richard Latham QC led the prosecution on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service. Anthony Orchard QC led the defence for Mick Philpott, Sean Smith QC led the defence for Mairead Philpott, and Benjamin Nolan QC led the defence for Mosley.[10] On 2 April, Mick and Mairead Philpott, along with Paul Mosley, were each found guilty of the manslaughter of the six children.[11] On 4 April, Philpott received a sentence of life imprisonment, and will serve a minimum of 15 years, while his wife and Mosley received 17 years imprisonment for their part.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Derby fire deaths: Man and woman being questioned". BBC News. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Derby fire deaths: Sixth child dies after house blaze". BBC News. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  3. ^ "Derby fire deaths: Mick and Mairead Philpott charged". BBC News. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  4. ^ a b "Derby fire deaths: House blaze 'started with petrol'". BBC News. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  5. ^ a b "Derby family fire deaths: Police confirm arson". BBC News. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  6. ^ "Derby fire deaths: Church service held for children". BBC News. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  7. ^ a b "Derby fire deaths: Police release arrested pair". BBC News. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  8. ^ "Allenton fire: Philpott condolence book in Derby signed by "hundreds"". BBC News. 28 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  9. ^ "Philpott children fire deaths: Paul Mosley faces murder charges". BBC News. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  10. ^ Philpott trial day 2: Court hears how police bugged Philpotts' hotel room after fire
  11. ^ "Derby fire deaths: Three guilty of Philpott children's deaths". BBC News. 2 April 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  12. ^ Derby fire deaths: Philpotts and Mosley jailed

Coordinates: 52°53′43″N 1°28′14″W / 52.89525°N 1.4706°W / 52.89525; -1.4706