Philpott trial: Court hears Philpott was 'adamant' he did not want to go with seriously-ill Duwayne in ambulance
MICK Philpott did not want to travel with dying son Duwayne to a hospital in Birmingham, the court was told.
A police officer said the father-of-17 seemed more interested in his impending custody battle with former lover Lisa Willis.
PC Kevin Cassidy told how he volunteered to act as an interim family liaison officer at Derby Royal Hospital, where Duwayne was taken immediately after the fire.
The 13-year-old was seriously ill and later died.
PC Cassidy said Philpott told him his version of the events that night. PC Cassidy said: "Mr Philpott told me he was at home with his wife and six children. He said he played snooker with a friend called Shaky, who I now know to be Paul Mosley.
"He said Mr Mosley left at 12.45am and he and his wife started watching a film on the settee in the conservatory.
"He told me he could not remember what film it was but that they had fallen asleep."
PC Cassidy said Philpott told him he was woken by the fire alarm.
"He said he went to the kitchen door and the glass was smashed," he told the court.
"He then stated that he went out into the garden and put a ladder up against one of the bedroom windows at the back of the house.
"He said he went up the ladder and tried to smash the window with a tennis racquet. He told me this didn't work so he went back down the ladder and grabbed a monkey wrench and went back up again and smashed the window.
"He told me thick smoke came out and he got back down the ladder."
Nottingham Crown Court heard that Philpott was speaking to PC Cassidy in hospital after learning that five of the six children he had with Mairead had died.
The sixth, Duwayne, was in the process of being prepared to be transferred to Birmingham Children's Hospital.
Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, asked PC Cassidy about Philpott's demeanour.
PC Cassidy said: "He was very calm. There was very little emotion."
Mr Latham said: "How was he when he was told that Duwayne was to be transferred to Birmingham?"
PC Cassidy said: "He did not want to go to Birmingham at all.
"He said to me that he could not go as he had a court appearance that morning for the custody of his other children. I told him I would speak to the court about this and that I was sure there would be no problem."
Mr Latham said: "Did you emphasise how important it was that he went with Duwyane?"
PC Cassidy said: "Yes, but he was adamant he did not want to go."
PC Cassidy said he then agreed to go, and later, as he and Mairead were preparing to depart in the ambulance, Philpott told him they were "going to get a quick coffee".
PC Cassidy said: "He walked out of the A&E building and they were gone for a good 20 to 30 minutes.
"The doctor came out and asked where they were. When they came back Mick had no shirt on – he said, 'I've spilled some coffee down it'."
Earlier yesterday PC Joanne Steele gave evidence in court.
She told the jury she was with the Philpotts at one of their neighbour's houses in the immediate aftermath of the fire.
She said: "I can remember Mairead being hysterical. She did not say anything to me, she was shaking uncontrollably.
"Mick seemed upset, but he also seemed to be pacing up and down anxiously."
PC Steele told how Mrs Philpott started to hyperventilate and the officer asked the householder if they had a paper bag to help her breathe properly.
PC Steele said Philpott told her about the situation he had with former mistress Lisa Willis.
She said: "It was mentioned that Lisa Willis had previously made threats to the family. He said she had threatened to kill them or set their house on fire."
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