Lisa Willis wanted to get away from 'controlling' Mick Philpott, cousin tells trial
A COUSIN of Mick Philpott agreed with a prosecuting barrister when he described the defendant as "a particularly controlling individual".
George Cobbledick said former mistress Lisa Willis told him she would "burn" Philpott rather than let him see their children. But he also admitted it was said in the way a person would "on the spur of the moment".
Mr Cobbledick was giving evidence on Day 24 of the trial that is now in its sixth week.
He explained to the jury how he had his own Mackworth-based cleaning company that used to have the contract for the now defunct Eurocom, which was based on Ashbourne Road.
20% Off All New Collections only 50 vouchers available !!View details
You get 20% off all new 2013 Spring/Summer collections. Including Pierre Balmain,Vivienne Westwood,Common People,Scotch & Soda,Elvine,Pearly King,Supra,Blue Collar Worker,Eleven Paris and many more...
Contact: 01332 418271
Valid until: Sunday, June 16 2013
He said he employed Ms Willis and two weeks before the fire he told her about a Facebook posting that Philpott had put up saying that her eldest son had been fathered by her brother-in-law, Ian Cousins.
Anthony Orchard QC, Philpott's barrister, said: "How did she react, what did she tell you?"
Mr Cobbledick replied: "She said she would burn him rather than let him see the kids. She was angry."
Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, in cross-examination said: "That was a figure of speech, wasn't it?
"Like someone saying 'I will kill you'?"
Mr Cobbledick replied: "Yes."
Mr Latham asked: "It doesn't mean it was something she was going to go through with, does it?"
Mr Cobbledick replied: "No, it was the sort of thing someone would say on the spur of the moment."
Mr Latham asked Mr Cobbledick if he ever spoke to Ms Willis about her situation living at 18 Victory Road.
He said: "She was essentially a very unhappy woman.
"She was concerned about how she was going to get out of the situation she was in because Mick was a particularly controlling individual?"
Mr Cobbledick replied: "I would say so, yes.
"She wanted a life, she wanted to take her kids and get away from him.
"At first I did not think anything of it. I did not think she would do it.
"She wanted a life with another man, or on her own."
Earlier on Monday morning, Mick Philpott said a window he heard being blown out during the early stages of the fire was in the lounge.
He also told the jury at his trial he spilled petrol on his clothing while changing the fuel mixture on his strimmer that he had loaned to neighbour Adam Taylor a few days before the blaze.
And he also said he tried his best to give the police "everything they wanted" in his interviews. The evidence came out under re-examination by Mr Orchard.
The courtroom was shown a video of Philpott's first police interview, which took place in informal surroundings on the morning of May 15 last year.
In it, Philpott goes through how he and his wife went to bed and watched a film in the early hours of May 11 and were awoken by the sound of the fire alarm.
He described how he heard the noise, which sounded like it was a window being blown in.
Mr Orchard asked him: "Which window do you mean?"
Philpott replies: "The window (in the lounge) by the hallway."
Mr Orchard then asked Philpott how much information he gave to the police in his interviews in the aftermath of the blaze.
He said: "The police interviews, did you co-operate?"
Philpott replied: "I did, yes."
Mr Orchard asked: "Did you give the police the clothing you were wearing (on the night of the fire)?"
Philpott answered: "I did, yes."
Mr Orchard said: "Did you answer questions over two days?"
Philpott replied: "Yes, I even told them that Lisa was not behind this."
Mr Orchard asked: "Did you agree to a medical examination?"
Philpott said: "I did, yes."
Mr Orchard asked: "As far as you were concerned, could you have done anything more to assist the police?"
Philpott replied: "No, I did my best to give the police everything they wanted."
He also re-iterated the answers he gave to Mr Latham under cross-examination last week about whispers heard by undercover police recordings.
In them, he is heard saying to his wife "are you sticking to the story?"
Mr Orchard said: "As far as you are concerned what were you referring to there?"
Philpott replied: "About the dogging and the sex with Mr Mosley."
*THE PHILPOTT TRIAL: Visit our Philpott trial channel here for all related stories in the fire death case.