Demolition begins at house where six children died in fire started by parents Mick and Mairead Philpott

Emotional grandmother Vera Duffy says 'the children will be resting in peace now'

The grandmother of six children who died in a house fire set by their parents has said the youngsters will be able to rest in peace now that their former home is being demolished.

Standing across from the fire-ravaged semi-detached property in Victory Road, Derby, Vera Duffy, Mairead Philpott's mother, said she had wanted to see the start of the demolition process to end the tragic chapter in the family's history.

An emotional Mrs Duffy, 55, said: "I'm here just to see it. The children will be resting in peace now."

Mick and Mairead Philpott were jailed in April, along with friend Paul Mosley, after being convicted of killing the couple's six children in the petrol-fuelled blaze in Allenton.

Jade Philpott, 10, and her brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five, died in the blaze in May 2012. Duwayne, 13, died days later in hospital.

The demolition work will see 18 Victory Road, the scene of the tragedy, and neighbouring property number 20 razed to the ground.

Mrs Duffy stood staring at the boarded up three-bed house, which still had a handful of withered floral tributes pinned to the front door that had been left in the wake of the children's deaths, and fighting back tears, said: "I'm just devastated."

She said had not been to visit her daughter in prison since she was found guilty of manslaughter, and said she would watch every stage of the demolition of the house.

"I'll be here every day," she said. "This is the first time I've been back since the fire. It's very emotional for me."

Mick Philpott was jailed for life with a minimum term of 15 years after being convicted of six counts of manslaughter following a trial at Nottingham Crown Court earlier this year.

The trial heard that Philpott used petrol to set fire to his home in a bid to frame his mistress during a child custody battle.

His wife Mairead and Mosley were told they would each serve half of a 17-year sentence for their part in the plan to set fire to the property.

Workmen carrying out the demolition of the ill-fated house started the preliminary work of erecting scaffolding and carrying out safety inspections today ahead of the removal of the roof.

Mick and Mairead Philpott were jailed in April Mick and Mairead Philpott were jailed in April  

Scaffolding was set up on both properties, along with a corrugated metal fence, and signs put in place to inform the public of the demolition.

Workmen said that over the next couple of days work would concentrate on taking the roof tiles, lats, felt, and rafters from the roofs of the houses as part of the first stages to steadily dismantle them.

Derby City Council said the process of demolition is likely to take up to three weeks; one week to prepare the site and a further two weeks to take down both properties, beginning with the outbuildings and roofing structures.

New social housing is expected to be built on the site in due course.

Floral tributes adorned the pavement outside the Philpott home in Allenton following the fire Floral tributes adorned the pavement outside the Philpott home in Allenton following the fire  

Derby Demolition Ltd, John L Morgan & Sons, Maxplant Ltd and Ward Recycling have each agreed to donate their fee for the demolition work to Derbyshire Children's Holiday Centre in Skegness, which provides disadvantaged local children with holidays in the town.

Neighbours living along Victory Road did not want to discuss the demolition with reporters.

Mr Baggy Shanker, cabinet member for housing and chairman of the Neighbourhood Board in Sinfin, said: "I think we all welcome the demolition of these properties.

"Whilst the tragic deaths of the six Philpott children will never be forgotten, local people continue to move on and this is symbolic of the end of a very difficult time for the community."

PA

The coffins bearing the bodies of six children who died in a house fire are carried into St Mary's Church in Derby for a funeral service on June 2012 The coffins bearing the bodies of six children who died in a house fire are carried into St Mary's Church in Derby for a funeral service on June 2012

News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford attends Blade Runner at Target Presents AFI's Night at the Movies at ArcLight Cinemas on 24 April, 2013 in Hollywood, California
film... but Ridley Scott won't direct
Sport
Hughes is hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott
cricketStephen Brenkley on batsman's tragic flaw that led to critical injury
Sport
Dejected England players applaud the fans following their team's 3-0 defeat
football

News
people

Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband

Life and Style
Stefan Gates with some mince flies
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rooney Mara plays a white Tiger Lily in forthcoming film Pan
filmFirst look at Rooney Mara in Pan
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital