Philpott trial: day 23 of the Derby fire deaths case
The trial of three Derby people accused of six counts of manslaughter entered day 23 today.
Mick Philpott, 56, his wife, Mairead, 31, and family friend Paul Mosley, 46, all deny the manslaughter of six Philpott children in a house fire in Allenton, Derby, last May.
Day 23 of the trial
3.50pm Mr Latham finishes his cross-examination. He ends it by saying: "That (lounge) window was open because it was about getting rid of a canister, wasn't it? The two of you inside the house were both present when the bright light came as the petrol ignited? You were to rescue the children from outside as part of the plan?"
Philpott replied: "No, there was no plan."
The case is adjourned until Monday at 10.15am.
3.35pm Philpott admits to the jury he deleted text messages he received between May 1 and 4.39am on May 11. He said: "It was because they were irrelevant."
3.30pm Mr Latham is now challenging Philpott on how he collapses. He said: "You collapsed in the ambulance, in the mortuary, at Birmingham Children's Hospital, after the press conference. It's all an act, isn't it? Like screwing up your eyes, rubbing your fists into your eyes. There are no tears."
Philpott replied: "No, I had lost my children."
3.25pm Mr Latham tells the court that, in the two weeks leading up to the court case, Philpott was "upping the plan".
He said: "You told parents at the school gates: 'She don't want to mess with me, I have a plan.' It was all falling into place. The plan was falling into place.
Philpott replied: "There was no plan."
3.10pm Mr Latham is now asking Philpott about the status update on social netowrking website Facebook - where he typed Ian Cousins was the father of Ms Willis' eldest child Jordan.
Mr Latham said: "What effect do you think doing that would have in that family?"
Philpott replied: "That was not meant in a nasty way, I was expressing my love for Jordan and Duwayne."
Mr Latham said: "Think about someone other than yourself for once."
3.05pm The cross-examination has now moved onto the questioning of Philpott over the darts trip in which he drove Colin Osbourne's family to a match in his mini bus on April 6 last year.
Philpott previously said in evidence that Mairead rang him while he was driving.
He told the court that Mairead had said that she had received a silent call and she was scared.
But Mr Latham told the court that phone records show there were no incoming calls received on Mairead's phone since 10.28am that morning, some eight hours earlier.
3pm Mr Latham has now accused Philpott of writing an apparent suicide note following the incident in Spondon, he said: "You were the author, you were going to use that and give it to influence the forthcoming court case with Ms Willis."
Philpott told the court, "No. I have nor seen that before."
2.40pm Mr Latham is continuing his cross-examination, he said to Philpott: "Do you understand that I suggest you are a manipulator?"
Philpott replied: "I do understand and I probably come across that way to everybody here, but I am not,"
The court is now hearing about the event on March 10 last year when the Philpott's turned up at the Spondon Street where the Cousins were living with Ms Willis.
Mr Latham said: "You said Lisa looked lonesome and pointed at Ian and Amanda and said: 'It's all your fault'. That's a lie isn't it?"
Philpott replied: "No it is not."
2.20pm Mr Latham talks to Philpott about his ex-mistress Lisa Willis.
"This was a woman who was not doing what you wanted?" Mr Latham asked.
Philpott replied: "She always did what she wanted, what I wanted."
An apparent suicide note, that was written by Mairead and which Philpott had told the court he had never seen before this week, was found in a yellow folder in the conservatory of 18 Victory Road.
The court heard that the folder belonged to Philpott and contained paperwork about his court proceedings for his custody battle with Ms Willis.
Mr Latham said: "This letter was to be used in litigation, wasn't it?"
Philpott replied : "No."
12.50pm Philpott said he didn't know who started the fire.
And he was asked what motive could anyone have to bear a grudge against him. He said his relationship with Lisa Willis and not wanting him to see his children.
Philpott said: "How do we know it was my house intended in the first place, we don't know."
12.30pm Philpott is being asked about petrol evidence in the case.
Mr Latham puts to Philpott that he was aware police knew petrol was the source of the fire two weeks before he was arrested and that police had taken his clothes from the night of the fire.
"So you had a fortnight to think about it," Mr Latham said.
He said Philpott volunteered to police that if they found petrol on his clothes or anywhere in the property it would be because of his strimmer.
"The one thing you didn't appreciate at the time is not only can a scientist detect the presence of petrol but the type of petrol. You had no idea that scientists could do that did you?"
Philpott said: "Yes I do watch programmes like NCIS and stuff like that."
11.45am Philpott admitted that when he was at the front of the house he saw that a lounge window was open.
He said: "All I know is that window was shut when we went to bed."
Mr Latham said: "I am going to suggest to you that window was opened by one of you that night. Who could have done it?"
11.30am Philpott told the court that Ms Willis had a set of keys to the property.
Mr Latham asked: "Are you trying to put a set of keys in Lisa Willis' hands for an ulterior motive?"
Philpott said: "I said before I don't think Lisa Willis had anything to do with setting the fire."
10.15am Mick Philpott is in the witness box. He's in a grey suit, white short and pink tie. Paul Mosley is in a grey Adidas T-shirt. Mairead is wearing a black jumper.
Richard Latham QC, chief prosecutor in the case, will continue to cross-examine Philpott.
They are discussing the night of the fire.
Philpott had said that the door between the hallway, where the fire was, and the lounge, was only open six inches.
But Mr Latham has said that the fire examiner, Matthew Lee, told the court in evidence in week one, that the door was wide open.
Mr Philpott said: “I totally disagree with him. I know what I saw with my eyes. I know what I saw that night.”
Mr Latham says Philpott said in his police statement he told PC Cassidy he saw “large flames all over the stairwell”.
But in the witness box he said he only got four steps into the lounge from the kitchen.
Mr Latham said: “You know what I’m driving at, don’t you? The only way you could have seen flames is if you were either in the hall or at the threshold between the hall and the lounge. You were consumed with guilt.”
Philpott replied: “You can say what you like Mr Latham, I did not kill my kids.”
Mr Latham said the bright light that Philpott said he saw in his evidence was the petrol igniting.
He said: “You saw the start of the fire, didn’t you Mr Philpott?”
He replied: “No, Mr Latham, I did not.”
Mr Latham said Philpott made no effort to put the fire out either by fetching buckets of water or using a small fire extinguisher from the kitchen.
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 and straight past the fire extinguisher.”
Philpott said: “The 999 call was my priority.”
Mr Latham said having the ladder close to Jade’s window was “all part of the plan”.
He 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 your children out and be the hero and the victim at the same time.”
Philpott replied: “Definitely not.”
“The plan was to light that fire, make a 999 call, rescue them with the ladder from out the back window, wasn’t it?” Mr Latham said.
Philpott replied: “Ladies and gentlemen, I did not light that fire, I did not endanger my children and not did my wife.”
Mr Latham said: “During the early part of the 999 call we hear you say to Mairead `Tell them they (the children) are in the bedroom’.”
Philpott replied: "It is just a phrase. I do not necessarily mean `Tell them they are in one bedroom'."
Mr Latham said: "By two minutes 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 here 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 replied: "Say what you like, Mr Latham, you are trying to twist it."
Philpott told the court that Ms Willis had a set of keys to the property.
On Thursday, the trial was told that Mairead Philpott had "broken ranks and is no longer sticking to the story."
Mairead is going to give evidence, the prosecuting barrister said.
The dramatic claim came on day 22 of the trial of Mick, Mairead and family friend Paul Mosley for the death of the children in a fire at 18 Victory Road, Allenton.
The house was home to Mick and Mairead and their six children, but had also been home to Lisa Willis and her five children, four of whom had been fathered by Philpott, 56.
The prosecution in the trial at Nottingham Crown Court claims the fire was started in a bid to frame Ms Willis, who walked out of the house three months before the blaze.
During a rapid hi-tempo exchange with Richard Latham QC, chief prosecutor in the case, Philpott challenged a claim that Mosley, 45, who is known as Shakey, was going to "drop them" (he and Mairead) "in it".
Mr Latham spoke about police undercover recordings that were previously heard or read out in court.
They were taken from both the Premier Inn, in Uttoxeter New Road, immediately after the fire, and in a police van as Philpott and Mairead, 31, were being taken to court after their arrest last May.
Mr Latham said: "We are told that Mairead is going to be giving evidence in the witness box.
"It is quite apparent that she is not sticking to the story, is she?
"Mairead has broken ranks and is no longer sticking to the story."
Philpott replied: "If Mairead wants to break ranks then that is up to her but I am telling you this: I did not set fire to my house.
"I have no story to stick to."
Mr Latham discussed more of the covert recordings.
He said: "You said, in the police van, 'I did not do it, on my life'. What does that mean?"
Philpott replied: "That I did not kill my children."
Mr Latham said: "Why would you need to say that to your wife?
"She was your alibi, wasn't she?"
Philpott replied: "No, not at all."
Mr Latham said: "Every time you discuss something like this, whether it is in the hotel room or the police van, you drop to a whisper.
Philpott replied: "I do not whisper.
"In the van I was leaning forward to talk to my wife, we leaned forward to talk because we were sat apart from each other."
Mr Latham said: "There is a recording which was taken in the hotel which took place in the middle of the night where you say to Mairead 'it is times like this that I think about Shakey'.
"You thought he might say something that would drop you in it, didn't you?"
Philpott answered: "I don't know where you get these ideas from, but sorry, no."
Mr Latham replied: "I am getting these ideas from the evidence in the case.
"You were all in this together weren't you?"
Philpott replied: "No, Mr Latham."
Mr Latham said: "You were in this together."
Philpott said: "No, I can look you in the eye, look at the jury, swear on my children's graves and swear on the Bible I did not do this and nor did my wife.
"I am telling you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."
Mr Latham discussed how he believed Philpott would have felt after he and his wife were arrested and gave separate police interviews at different police stations.
He said: "The nightmare for you is what Mairead was saying to the police, wasn't it?
"You wanted to be in the room with her, didn't you?"
Philpott replied: "Of course I wanted to be with my wife."
Mr Latham also asked about questions Shaun Smith, Mairead's barrister, had asked him earlier in the day in his cross-examination.
He said: "Mr Smith asked you about the petrol on your trainers.
"You do understand the implications of this question, don't you?"
Philpott said: "I understand the implications. What they are trying to say is there was petrol on my trainers. "
Mr Latham said: "Yes, it is being suggested that your trainers had petrol on them that night."
Philpott replied: "I do understand that,"
Mr Latham then spoke about how often Philpott seemed to collapse in grief.
He said: "Everything that has happened is about how the world is according to Michael Philpott or it is nothing at all.
"You speak the whole time in terms of me, me, me'.
"You start to cry and then flop to the ground.
"But with the crying there are no tears, are there?"
Philpott replied: "I don't see it like that, I would like to see you stand here in my position and see how you cope, Mr Latham."
Mr Latham said: "The true Mick Philpott we are seeing right now in this court room.
"You ruled Number 18 with a rod of iron, didn't you?"
Philpott said: "No, you are talking rubbish."
Mr Latham said: "What you want you get by whatever means necessary."
Philpott replied: "No."
Earlier in the afternoon Ben Nolan QC, Mosley's barrister, spent about 10 minutes cross-examining Philpott.
Mr Nolan and Philpott argued about the sex sessions that happened between the three defendants on the night of the fire and afterwards at the hotel where the Philpotts were staying.
He said Philpott had given earlier evidence that he would be "uncomfortable" if his wife and Mosley had sex without him being in the room, but is heard on one of the hotel transcripts leaving the room and telling her to "show Shakey a good time".
Philpott replied: "What you have got to remember is at that particular time my head was all over the place.
"I did not have to encourage Shakey, I did not encourage Shakey, we were going through a difficult time."
Mr Nolan said: "On the morning of the fire Shakey and your wife had full sex while you looked on encouraging it, shouting crude words of encouragement."
Philpott replied: "Definitely not, were you there? Definitely not."
Earlier, Mr Smith said Philpott regarded Mairead as his "property", his "slave".
Philpott shook his head.
The trial continues.
*THE PHILPOTT TRIAL: Visit our Philpott trial channel here for all related stories in the fire death case.