Philpott trial: Philpott denies his plan was to start fire, dial 999 then rescue his six kids by climbing ladder
THE man accused of the manslaughter of his six children has denied he had a plan to become both a hero and victim by rescuing them from a fire he started.
Mick Philpott insisted he had not planned to start the fire, call 999 and then rescue his children by climbing up a ladder into his daughter's upstairs bedroom window at his Allenton home.
And he also denied a suggestion, made by the prosecution in his case, that he would have been be "both a hero and a victim" if his alleged plan had worked.
Yesterday morning's first session, at Nottingham Crown Court, saw Philpott take to the witness box for the third consecutive day.
Orders taken over £2000 , will receive £100 off and the option to take 2 years interest free credit
Terms: £100 off only on orders over £2000 with the option to take 2 years interest free credit , this offer ends bank holiday Monday 27th may 4 pm , this voucher must be printed and presented on ordering .
Contact: 01332 419898
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
The prosecution has alleged Philpott, his wife, Mairead, 31, and family friend Paul Mosley, 45, of Cecil Street, Derby, started the fire in a bid to frame his ex-lover, Lisa Willis.
In cross-examination, Philpott and Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, exchanged opinions on what happened at the time the fire took hold.
Mr Latham said: "The plan was to light that fire, make a 999 call, rescue them with the ladder from the back window, wasn't it?"
Philpott replied: "Ladies and gentlemen, I did not light that fire, I did not endanger my children and nor did my wife."
Mr Latham said: "In your police statement you say you are security-conscious and that the only window that should be open is your daughter's.
"You thought it was going to be unlocked, didn't you?
"You were going to be able to get up the ladders, open the window and get your children out. You were going to be the hero and the victim at the same time."
Philpott looked Mr Latham in the face and slowly said: "Definitely not."
Mr Latham told the court that in a police statement Philpott said the door between the hallway, where the fire started, and the lounge was only open around six inches.
Philpott added that the door was difficult to move because a new carpet had been recently laid.
Mr Latham said: "The fire investigator, Mr Lee, in the first week of the trial, gave evidence in which he said the door was wide open and that was not challenged in cross-examination by your counsel."
Philpott replied: "I totally disagree with him. I know what I saw with my eyes, I know what I saw on that night."
Mr Latham said that in Philpott's police statement he had told PC Kevin Cassidy that he saw "large flames in the stairwell".
But when he gave evidence in court on Wednesday he said he only got four steps into the lounge from the kitchen.
Mr Latham said: "You know what I am driving at, don't you? The only way you could have seen flames [in the stairwell] is if you were either in the hall or at the threshold between the hall and the lounge. I suggest when you gave that evidence you were consumed with guilt?"
Philpott replied: "You can say what you like, Mr Latham, I did not kill my kids."
Mr Latham then suggested that Philpott made little effort to try to rescue the children. He said Philpott did not fetch buckets of water from the kitchen sink or try to use a fire extinguisher, also in the kitchen, to put out the flames.
He said: "Your plan was to go out, rescue your children, and be the big hero, wasn't it?"
Philpott replied: "No, I don't see myself as a hero."
Mr Latham said: "You went straight past the source of water, the sink, and past the fire extinguisher."
Philpott replied: "The 999 call was my priority."
Mr Latham then asked Philpott about the "bright yellow light" he told the police he saw at the doorway between the hall and the lounge. He said to Philpott that the light was evidence of the fire igniting.
Mr Latham said: "You saw the start of the fire, didn't you, Mr Philpott?"
Philpott replied: "No, Mr Latham, I didn't."
Mr Latham also claimed the ladder Philpott climbed up to try to smash the window to his daughter's bedroom was also "part of the plan".
He said: "By two minutes in, the plan has gone wrong, the fire was much bigger than you expected and you could not get the window open."
Philpott said: "All I know, Mr Latham, is that I was trying to get my kids out of there and I could not."
Mr Latham said: "Four minutes into the 999 call you say 'God help me,' not 'God help us'."
Philpott replied: "I am in a distressed state, my heart is broken, what I say is not meant to come out like that."
Mr Latham said: "You knew you were responsible for this whole nightmare that has unfolded before you.
"I am going to say you started this fire."
Philpott answered: "Say what you like, Mr Latham, you are trying to twist it."
Mr Latham then asked Philpott about what happened at the front of the house once the fire had been extinguished and the children were being brought outside by the emergency services.
Philpott said the downstairs lounge window, through which firefighters sprayed water to extinguish a secondary fire, was open.
He said: "All I know is that the window was shut when we went to bed."
Mr Latham said: "I am going to suggest to you that was opened by one of you that night.
"Who could have done it?"
Philpott replied: "Mairead? Shakey [Mosley]? Definitely not me.
"It could have been one of the children.
"I don't know. I did not lock up that night."
*THE PHILPOTT TRIAL: Visit our Philpott trial channel here for all related stories in the fire death case. On the bottom of all Philpott stories