'She has done some shameful things but not when it came to her children'
MAIREAD Philpott "would not cross the line that would put her own children in danger" a court has been told.
Shaun Smith QC, for Mairead, told the jury that "even Mick Philpott with all his influence" would not come before them.
And he said that his client "may amount to something" without her husband, but "without her children she is nothing".
Mr Smith also reminded the jury that Mairead is not on trial for the "disgusting things she did", referring to her sexual encounters, but for killing her six children.
Philpott, 56, and Mairead, 32, both deny the manslaughter of their six children in a house fire at their home in Victory Road, Allenton, in the early hours of May 11 last year.
The prosecution claims the fire was started as part of a plan to frame Philpott's former live-in lover Lisa Willis, who had walked out of the house at 18 Victory Road three months earlier.
Philpott was fighting Ms Willis for custody of their four children.
Family friend Paul Mosley, 45, of Cecil Street, Derby, is jointly charged with the couple and also denies the six counts of manslaughter.
Mr Smith gave his closing speech on day 28 of the trial that has so far lasted six weeks.
He said: "It beggars belief she would do this.
"She would not even let the children play out in the street or cook on the front two rings of the cooker in case they came to harm.
"On her own admissions, she has done some pretty shameful things but not when it involved her children.
"Whatever levels we are reduced to, we all have a line beyond which we are not prepared to go.
"You can be sure with Mairead Philpott that line involves her children."
Mr Smith opened his closing speech by telling the jury they had an important role to play and thanked them for being as attentive as they had been for the six weeks the trial has so far lasted.
He said: "Mairead Philpott was a great mum, she would not harm a child.
"She would not do anything to put her own children in danger, she does not have a bad bone in her body.
"Those aren't my words, those are the words of Lisa Willis when she gave evidence in the first week of the trial.
"The prosecution are saying she is prepared to gamble the lives of her own six children to ensure the return of the other five that belonged to Lisa Willis.
"If Mick Philpott had a plan, as the prosecution claim, then it did not involve Mairead.
"The plan is one of the building blocks of the case.
"Mairead did not want to get rid of Lisa, she loved her, they were like sisters.
"She is no more part of a plan than we are, she is no more part of setting the fire as we are."
Mr Smith re-iterated to the court how important Mairead's children were to her.
He said: "Even Mick Philpott, with all his influence, would not come before them.
"She has done some pretty disgusting things but she is not on trial for that, she is on trial for killing her six children.
"Without Michael Philpott she may amount to something, but without her children she is nothing."
Speaking about his client's reaction when Ms Willis walked out of the house, Mr Smith said instead of being happy, she attempted suicide by swallowing 120 paracetamol tablets.
She spent three days at the Royal Derby Hospital but made a full recovery.
Mr Smith said: "When Lisa Willis left did Mairead throw her hands in the air and scream 'yippee, I have Mick all to myself'?
"No, this selfless woman tried to help him.
"It was only when he realised that Lisa was not coming back that Mick started to profess his love for Mairead again.
"She is 32 years old now and she has nothing."
Mr Smith also praised his client's bravery in making the decision to face cross-examination in the witness box.
He said: "She could have sat in the dock at the back and said 'go on, prove it' but she did not, she took the walk.
"You 12 people (the jury) hold her in your hands.
"When you make your decision at the end of this trial you can't change your vote like you might do the following week in a reality TV show. The reality is no-one knows exactly what happened."
Mr Smith discussed the 999 tape that was made on the morning of the fire which has been played a number of times in court during the trial.
He said: "The children are in danger and no-one is suggesting she is trying to do anything other than get those children out.
"And Mairead not knowing how she got petrol on her clothing is not a crime.
"We say it is pure speculation on the part of the prosecution.
"Mairead Philpott would not say (in evidence) how the petrol got there. She is not lying to you, she simply does not know how it got there."
Mr Smith, whose closing speech lasted for more than three hours, finished it by asking the jury to be "a courageous one".
He said: "Are you sure Mairead Philpott took part in a plan that ended up with all of her six children dead?
"Are you sure that at the time the fire happened she knew what was going off?"
Earlier yesterday, Anthony Orchard QC completed his closing speech for his client, Mick Philpott.
He said Philpott kept the details of his varied sex life, which included three-way sex between the defendants and dogging – the act of watching people have sex in public – out of his police statements because he did not want it getting out in public.
Mr Orchard said: "Where Mr Philpott did not help himself was keeping the sex and dogging from the police. But why?
"The shame, embarrassment, disgrace, the press and the public humiliation. He did not want that public humiliation, he did not want to gift Lisa Willis a full hand of aces in their custody battle.
"Don't make Mick Philpott a scapegoat."
*THE PHILPOTT TRIAL: Visit our Philpott trial channel here for all related stories in the fire death case.