Anger at parents charged with murder of children in Derby house fire


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The Independent Online

Two people had to be escorted from a courtroom after shouting abuse at the parents of six children who died in a house fire at their home. Mick Philpott, 55, and his wife Mairead, 31, were appearing at Derby Magistrates' Court charged with murdering the youngsters, aged between five and 13, in an alleged arson attack.

Police and court officials led a man and a woman away from a public gallery packed with family and neighbours of the couple after shouts of "scum" and "bastard" during the 10-minute appearance.

The couple showed no emotion as they stood in the dock. They were remanded in custody and will appear at Nottingham Crown Court tomorrow. There was no application for bail. Their children Jade, 10, and siblings John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six, and Jayden, five, all died in the blaze at Victory Road in Allenton Derby on 11 May. Post-mortem examinations revealed they died of smoke inhalation. They were asleep on the top floor of the three-bedroom house when the fire broke out.

A sixth sibling Duwayne, 13, died of his injuries in Birmingham Children's Hospital two days later with his parents by his bedside.

The couple later thanked the emergency services and the local community at a brief emotionally charged news conference. They were arrested on Tuesday. Police have urged anyone with information about the fire to come forward.