Philpott trial day 9: Philpott tried to break window with a tennis racket, court hears
Derby parents Mick and Mairead Philpott, along with family friend Paul Mosley, are on trial after pleading not guilty to six counts of manslaughter.
It follows a raging fire in Victory Road, Derby, last May in which the Philpott’s six children perished.
Day 9 of the trial
3.55pm The case is adjourned until Monday.
3.30pm The court will now hear from Franchesca Blavins, who lives opposite 18 Victory Road.
She let the Philpotts into her home after the fire. She said: "I wanted to help.
"Mairead was bad. I lent her my asthma inhaler. She had nothing on her feet, I gave her a pair of my old flip-flops."
3.15pm Callum Stevenson, brother of the Philpotts' neighbour Daniel Stevenson, is called.
He said he looked out of the window and could see Mick Philpott up a ladder trying to break a window with what turned out to be a tennis racket. He woke his brother, Daniel, and called 999.
2.45pm The next witness is neighbour Daniel Stevenson, former partner of Philpott's eldest daughter Michaela.
He said he sprinted up the street to number 18. "There were flames coming from the front door; I could see a glow from the front room, there was loads of smoke. I went into next door onto the fence, then the top of the caravan and into the back garden."
Mr Stevenson told how he went inside the back of the house but was beaten back by the smoke. He said he twice climbed into the conservatory roof to see what he could do to help.
Wiping tears from his eyes, he recalled trying to help get to the children.
"I tried to get in the window. I couldn't do anything because it was locked from the inside. I picked up a pickaxe that was on the roof. I broke a window and a gust of smoke flew out. I stayed up on the roof," he said.
2.15pm The first witness of the afternoon is neighbour Jane Perry.
She said that three weeks before the fire Philpott came round and told her he was "falling in love with Mairead".
Mrs Perry told the court that a few days before the fire he said (referring to his ex-mistress Lisa Willis): "I don't know how someone so nice can turn out to be so evil".
On the morning of the fire she said she was awoken by her three dogs and ran out of her house. She said: "I just thought `Oh my God, Oh my God'. I was shouting `Mick, Mick'."
She told the court that she heard Mick shout at the firefighters "You have done **** all."
12.45pm Hearing from Joseph Peel, who lives in Victory Road. He said he was awoken by his dog at 3.45am. He looked out of the window and noticed the door to number 18 was on fire.
He told the court: "I banged on the caravan shouting `Mick, Mick your house is on fire'. I heard Mr Philpott in his back garden. He was shouting `My kids, get my kids out'."
12.35pm Maxine Pinkstone is called to give evidence. She works as a cleaner at Rolls-Royce on a 4am shift and gets a taxi to work at 3.30am each day.
She said she did not see anything as her taxi drove past 18 Victory Road at 3.35am on the morning of the fire.
12.15pmPC Matthew Moore is called to give evidence. He was involved in an incident on March 10, two months before the fire, at Litton Drive, Spondon, where Philpott's ex-mistress Lisa Willis lived with their children.
He recalls Philpott saying he had been called "a paedophile" by Amanda Cousins, Ms Willis' sister. He also recalled Philpott telling him that his wife, Mairead, had recently taken an overdose. He does not recall any threats to kill being made.
11.40am Next to give evidence is PC James Carroll who was also involved in the March 10 incident.
The court heard that Philpott turned up at Litton Drive, Spondon, to see his children that he has with Ms Willis.
PC Carroll said: "Lisa was upset, she said she didn't think he knew where she was. The children were crying as well."
11am The next witness is PC Kevin Cassidy. He went to the Royal Derby Hospital at 5.30am on the day of the fire. He was the Interim Family Liaison Officer.
At 6.10am PC Cassidy took Mick Philpott's first statement about his version of events. PC Cassidy told the court: "Mick said to me he and Mairead fell asleep watching a film. He was awoken by the fire alarm, opened the kitchen door which smashed and he saw flames all around the stairwell."
PC Cassidy said Philpott went onto say how he put a set of ladders up to a bedroom window and climbed them twice to try to smash a window.
The officer told the court that before Duwayne was transferred to Birmingham Children's Hospital from the Royal Derby Hospital, Philpott told him: "We're just going for a quick coffee."
PC Cassidy said: "They were gone for 20 to 30 minutes. The doctor came out and had to ask where they were. Another officer had to call a friend of the Philpotts to try and find them."
He said Philpott did not want to go to Birmingham because of his court appearance that morning over the custody battle with Lisa Willis.
PC Cassidy said: "He was adamant he did not want to go, he had no intention of going."
10.20am Mick Philpott is in a black suit, white shirt and pink tie; Mairead is wearing a black cardigan and Paul Mosley is in a black jumper and black coat.
Hearing first from PC Joanne Steele, who looked after the Philpotts at a neighbour's house immediately after the fire on May 11.
PC Steele was due to go off duty at 3am but chose to stay on duty to help. She said: "It was clear from the radio that things were pretty frantic and fraught."
She said she went to 19 Victory Road where the Philpotts were. She said: "Mairead was hysterical, she was shaking uncontrollably. Mick was pacing, quite anxious."
After the Philpotts were taken to hospital, PC Steele said she was tasked with speaking to neighbours to try to find an address for Lisa Willis, Philpott's ex-mistress.
The court heard that Vicky Ferguson, who lives at number 26, came out of the house. PC Steele said: "She was waving her phone around shouting `She (Lisa Willis) has text me back'."
PC Steele said she looked at the phone and a text message read: "What's going on?".
Yesterday, at the ongoing trial at Nottingham Crown Court, a firefighter told of the harrowing moment he found "casualties everywhere" as he fought his way into the burning house to search for the six children.
Michael Patterson told a hushed courtroom that the fire at the Philpott family home in Victory Road, Allenton, had created such thick black smoke he had to try to locate the sleeping youngsters by touch and not sight.
He said: "You struggled to see your hands in front of your face.
"We got into the first bedroom and my colleague handed me a casualty that he had taken from a bed. It was obviously a child. I cradled the child and started to walk down the stairs backwards while holding it. I took the child out on to the pavement before going back inside."
The children's parents, Mick and Mairead Philpott, and a third defendant, Paul Mosley, are on trial for manslaughter of the children.
A paramedic told their trial Mick Philpott had no signs of fire on his clothes in the aftermath of the fatal blaze.
Wayne Rowland said: "I thought at the very least he might have some soot on his clothes."
*THE PHILPOTT TRIAL: Visit our Philpott trial channel here for all related stories in the fire death case.