Witnesses heard Mick Philpott 'brag' ex-mistress had vowed to blow up home
A NEIGHBOUR of Mick Philpott claimed he "bragged" that his former mistress had threatened to blow up his home.
Philpott made the claim only two weeks before a blaze claimed the lives of six of his 17 children, a court heard.
The witness said Philpott also told a number of mothers at the school where his children went that he "had a plan" to ensure getting custody of the children he had with Lisa Willis.
The witness was giving evidence on day seven of the trial of Philpott, his wife, Mairead, and Philpott's friend, Paul Mosley, for the manslaughter of six children.
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Chantelle Harriet said she had lived in Victory Road, Allenton, all her life and had known Philpott since he moved in to number 18 with former partner Heather Kehoe more than a decade ago.
She said about two weeks before the fire she had visited Philpott and his wife.
"Mick was there, Mairead, all the kids were in the front room and the adults were in the conservatory at the back of the house.
"Mick was happy, hyper, flashing his phone around saying Lisa had threatened to blow the house up.
"He was bragging and boasting that Lisa was going to set fire to the house.
"Mairead was her usual sad self. She just made me a coffee."
Earlier yesterday, Nottingham Crown Court heard from a number of witnesses who saw Philpott outside school gates where they went to pick up their respective children.
Charlotte Bright said she had known the Philpotts since she was in her late teens, having worked with Mrs Philpott's mother, Vera Duffy, at the Osmaston Park Hotel, on Osmaston Park Road, Allenton.
She said she was even a guest at the Philpotts' wedding.
Of the school conversation, she said: "It was a couple of days before the fire.
"I can't remember everything he said but the conversation started with him saying about how he was not allowed to see his children, that Lisa had left him and that he had been having death threats.
"I don't know whether it was a phone call or a text message he said he had received but it was along the lines of 'I am going to bomb you and your house'."
Mrs Bright was asked about Philpott's behaviour at the time.
She said: "He walked up to us and just said 'I have got a plan'."
Mr Latham said: "In your witness statement, you said he was rubbing his hands together at the time?"
Mrs Bright said: "Yes."
Another witness whose children go to the same school was Denise Beck.
She said that up to the time that Ms Willis left 18 Victory Road, it was always her who came with Philpott on the school run.
But after she walked out of the house in February last year, Mrs Philpott went along in her place.
Mrs Beck said: "Mairead was quite quiet, withdrawn, she would not say boo to a goose."
Mr Latham asked Mrs Beck if she recalled an episode outside the school gates shortly before the fire.
Mrs Beck said: "Mick told us he was not going to let Lisa get away with it and that he had something up his sleeve.
"He said 'watch this space', he was very confident about the hearing and that he would get his children back. He said 'I can't wait'."
Mother Seaneen France told the court she was a friend of Bernadette Duffy, one of Mrs Philpott's younger sisters, and had worked with Vera Duffy when she was in her late teens.
She said after Ms Willis left Victory Road she saw the Philpotts waiting outside the school gates where they were collecting their children.
Mrs France said: "He was picking Mairead up and twizzling her about in the air. I told him that they looked really happy and Mick said to me 'I have fallen in love again'."
Mrs France recalled another incident, close to the date of the fire, when he told her about the custody battle with Ms Willis over their children.
She said: "He said he was getting the children, he was very confident about that. He said 'I have a plan, I have something up my sleeve, she's not going to get the kids'."
And another witness, Kerry McCready, said her son used to be taken to school by Philpott in his minibus.
Mrs McCready said Philpott had told her about a court appearance that was due to take place on May 11 – the day of the fire – which was about a custody battle he was having with Ms Willis.
She told the court: "He told me he would get his children back and that she would be sorry.
"He said he had a plan and that he would show her. He said 'she will be sorry'."