Philpott trial: `I can't rule out my husband starting the fire'
MAIREAD Philpott told the court she "cannot rule out" that her husband started the fire that killed their six children.
The 31-year-old said she was asleep when the blaze began and "was not responsible" for the deaths.
Through cross-examination she also maintained that on secret police recordings taken in a police van after their arrest, where Mick Philpott said to her "are you sticking to the story" they were talking about keeping the details of their varied sex life from the press.
Mairead was giving evidence on day 25 of the trial at Nottingham Crown Court that is in its sixth week.
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Mr Latham started his cross-examination yesterday morning by asking her about the night of the fire.
He said if Mr Philpott had got up in the night it would have woken her up as the couple have said in evidence they were cuddling.
Mrs Philpott said: "Not always, when I am asleep I am asleep."
Mr Latham seized on this, saying to her: "Are you saying for a moment that he could get out of bed without your knowledge?
"That it is possible that he could get out of bed without your knowledge and set the fire?"
Mairead replied: "I don't know I was asleep."
Mr Latham asked: "Are you saying that in your evidence there is the possibility your husband set the fire behind your back?"
Mairead answered: "I don't know, I was asleep, I can't rule anybody out.
"Once I am asleep, I am asleep, I just don't know."
Mr Latham then moved on to questioning Mairead about secret police recordings taken in a van as they were transported to Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court on May 31 after they were initially arrested for murder.
The court has already heard the tapes in which Philpott is heard asking his wife "are you sticking to the story?"
It also heard Philpott say "I did not mean to do it" and the prosecution claim he then goes on to add "on my life".
Those last three words are disputed by the defence.
Mr Latham asked Mairead: "What is your version of events with regards to those words?"
Mairead replies: "I don't know, he could have done it (started the fire), I didn't hear it.
"My mind was elsewhere. I was thinking about the children."
Mr Latham said: "I am sorry but you were not, you were thinking about the evidence, you were contributing to what was being said."
Mairead replied: "No, I was not."
Mr Latham said: "Mr Philpott also says on the tape 'don't worry we will walk through it'.
"In other words you will both get off (from the charges)."
Mairead replied: "I have not done anything."
Mr Latham said: "Mick also goes on to say 'unless you want me to blab about it'. He is talking about setting the fire isn't he?"
Mairead replied: "No, it was about sex, sex with Shakey (Mosley) and the dogging."
Mr Latham said: "No it wasn't, he was offering you the supreme sacrifice on his part, it would help you (get off). It was your decision whether or not he should do that, that is what this conversation is all about?"
Mairead replied: "No."
Earlier in the day, Anthony Orchard QC, Philpott's barrister, asked Mairead about her husband and his personality.
"When you met him you were in a bad place, weren't you?" he asked.
"Yes," she replied.
"You were both from big families, you both enjoyed family life and children?" he said.
"Yes," she replied.
"It might be suggested that he kept you away from your family once the two of you got together but that's not true, is it?"
Mairead answered: "No."
Mr Orchard then asked Mairead about her husband's outgoing nature.
He said: "You would not give him the divorce he asked for?"
Mairead said: "No, that's right."
Mr Orchard said: "There is no doubt about it, you were able to say no to Mick?"
Mairead replied: "Not all the time but sometimes."
Mr Orchard said: "Mick is an emotional man. When Lisa left he was upset, you were upset, the children were upset, because the family dynamic had been ripped apart."
Mairead said: "Yes."
Mr Orchard said: "Mick does not hide his emotions, does he?
There are on the surface for all to see?
"He is happy to tell people his business and when he gets cross he gets cross quickly, then it disappears."
Mairead replied: "Yes."
Ben Nolan, Mosley's barrister, also cross-examined Mairead yesterday morning. He asked about her thoughts on the type of personality his client was.
Mr Nolan said: "There was a media frenzy after the fire, wasn't there?"
Mairead replied: "Yes."
Mr Nolan said: "Mr Mosley has this personality whereby he would tell stories, everything he told you, you took with a pinch of salt, he seemed to enjoy being in the media?"
Mairead replied: "Yes, he told pathetic jokes."
*THE PHILPOTT TRIAL: Visit our Philpott trial channel here for all related stories in the fire death case.