Philpott was my guardian angel and I did not want to lose him, Mairead tells court
MAIREAD Philpott told the jury that husband Mick had been her "guardian angel" when he came into her life.
The 31-year-old mother, who is accused with him of killing their six children in a house fire, said she had agreed to him beginning a relationship with another woman because she did not want to lose him.
Mairead said that she had sex with family friend and co-accused Paul Mosley on about three occasions, with her husband watching and joining in, and after each time she felt "disgusting" but did it to "make Mick happy".
Philpott, 56, his wife and Mosley, 45, all deny the manslaughter of the six children.
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The prosecution claims the fire was started as part of a plan to frame Philpott's former live-in lover Lisa Willis, who had walked out of the house at 18 Victory Road, Allenton, three months earlier.
Philpott was fighting Ms Willis for custody of their four children.
Mairead told the jury she would "never" do anything that would risk harming any one of her children, not even for her husband.
She told the jury she was abused when she was three or four years old by her dad and had been raped on holiday as a teenager.
She said she met Philpott when she was 17, and already had baby Duwayne, and had just come out of an abusive relationship.
"I was at rock bottom – just lonely," said Mairead.
"How did you see Mick at the beginning, in terms of when he arrived in your life?" asked Mr Smith.
"As my guardian angel," replied Mairead.
Asked how Philpott had treated her at that time, she said: "Fine, someone who cared for me and loved me and made me feel safe."
Mairead said Philpott had proposed to her in hospital 10 minutes after their first child, Jade, was born and that she felt "really happy".
She was asked about what each of her children were like.
She said: "Duwayne was the quiet and caring one. Jade was my princess. John was my cheeky comedian.
"Jack was my blue-eyed little boy. Jessie was my little Irish stamper, he had an Irish temper. Jayden we called our miracle baby because he was born six weeks premature and we thought we were going to lose him."
About when Philpott told her he kissed Lisa Willis on New Year's Eve 2001, she said: "I was hurt but I never mentioned anything about being hurt."
Mairead said Philpott had sought her permission before things with Lisa developed into a sexual relationship.
She said: "I agreed to it. I didn't think it would actually last."
Mr Smith said: "Some people might find that quite strange. Why did you allow that?"
"Because I was scared of losing what I had – a family, a home," replied Mairead.
"So you put up with it?" "Yes," said Mairead.
"Did you ever want to stop it?"
"I did but I didn't ever mention it."
But Mairead said that by the time of her wedding to Philpott in May 2003, when Miss Willis was her bridesmaid, "it was okay" because they were "getting on" and were "all happy".
Asked if she had ever considered not marrying him because Miss Willis had come on to the scene, she said: "No."
She said her and Miss Willis's relationship had been a good one and agreed they had been like sisters.
Mr Smith said: "Many, many people would use the word unconventional (to describe your situation).
"What do you say to that?"
Mairead replied: "Maybe to some other people but to us it was a happy family."
Asked about her evening cleaning job at the hospital, she said that it was "very hard work" but she had enjoyed it as it was "a bit of peace away from the house" and she liked the people she worked with.
She said her wages, and her benefits, had gone into Philpott's bank account.
The trial continues.
*THE PHILPOTT TRIAL: Visit our Philpott trial channel here for all related stories in the fire death case.