Philpott trial: Mairead Philpott 'went from bubbly to subdued' in the company of her husband
MAIREAD Philpott was "bubbly and talkative" when not in the company of husband Mick Philpott – but quiet and subdued in his presence, a court heard.
Mairead seemed to enjoy going to work as a hospital cleaner because it got her away from Mick, said her colleague Claire Tyler.
Ms Tyler, giving evidence on the fifth day of Mick and Mairead's trial for the manslaughter of their six children in a house fire, also claimed that Mairead had an abortion after having sex with another man while husband Mick watched them, Nottingham Crown Court was told.
Ms Tyler said Mairead made the revelation while she recovered in hospital from taking an overdose.
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She also said that, on a separate occasion while in the presence of the Philpotts – a week after the fire – she overheard Mick say to someone on the phone "he is going to drop us in it, he has not got the story right."
Ms Tyler explained to the court she had worked with Mrs Philpott for seven years. They were both cleaners at the Derby City General Hospital, later the Royal Derby Hospital.
She told the court: "Mairead was a lovely person, bubbly, talkative, just a really lovely person.
"She loved her job. She saw it as a break from her family life.
"Mick would come and pick her up from work at 10pm and wait outside.
"She would then go from being bubbly to just not talking. She completely changed."
Miss Tyler said Mrs Philpott never had a handbag with her or carried any money but that she use to keep small change in a tub in her locker at work.
She said Mrs Philpott was part of the work lottery syndicate but on the occasions when they won small amounts of money it would be handed to her husband.
Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, asked Miss Tyler whether Mrs Philpott ever discussed her living arrangements at Victory Road in Allenton.
Miss Tyler said: "Generally, no.
"She told me Lisa had left the house and taken the kids.
"She said she was getting blamed (by Philpott) for Lisa going."
Mr Latham then went on: "Were you told about an incident?"
Miss Tyler said: "Yes, an abortion."
At this point Mrs Philpott squeezed a cloth she was holding close to her face in the dock.
Later, during cross-examination by Mrs Philpott's barrister, Shaun Smith QC, she was asked her about the circumstances leading up to the abortion.
Mr Smith said: "She was trying to arrange for an abortion and she tried talking to you about it subsequently, didn't she?"
Ms Tyler said: "Yes."
Mr Smith said: "It was thought she had sex with another man and the child was a result of that and that Mick was there when she had sex with another man?"
Ms Tyler said: "Yes."
Ms Tyler said she had seen Mrs Philpott in the hospital at the time of the abortion and she looked "very poorly."
In questioning, Ms Tyler also went on to say she saw Philpott and his wife in the aftermath of the fire when they were staying at the Premier Inn, in Uttoxeter New Road, opposite the Royal Derby Hospital.
On May 18, a week after the blaze, she said she went to see Mairead and they hugged.
Ms Tyler said she accompanied Philpott and Mairead to the hospital and on the way back to the hotel Philpott took a phone call.
She said: "On the way back (from the hospital) he received a call.
"I heard him say 'he has not got the story right'. He said 'he's going to drop us in it'. It was either 'us' or 'me', I can't be sure".
In cross-examination by Mick Philpott's barrister, Anthony Orchard QC, Ms Tyler also admitted she told the police in an interview that she heard Philpott say "It is not Lisa that has done this, don't think it is Lisa's fault".
Mr Orchard asked Ms Tyler: "You have no idea who this phone call was from, do you?"
Ms Tyler said: "No."
*THE PHILPOTT TRIAL: Visit our Philpott trial channel here for all related stories in the fire death case.