Derby fire deaths: Mick and Mairead Philpott deny new manslaughter as murder charges are dropped

 

A couple accused of killing their six children in a house fire have denied charges of manslaughter.

Mick and Mairead Philpott, from Derby, who were previously charged with murder, both pleaded not guilty to six separate counts of manslaughter when they appeared at Birmingham Crown Court via video-link.

A third defendant, 45-year-old Paul Mosley, who was also previously charged with murder, appeared in the dock at the same hearing and also entered not guilty pleas to the unlawful killing of the children.

Jade Philpott, 10, and her brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five, all died in a blaze at their parents' semi-detached house in Victory Road, Allenton, Derby, on May 11.

Duwayne, aged 13, died later in hospital.

Mick Philpott, 55, Mairead Philpott, 31, and Mosley, of Cecil Street, Derby, are expected to face trial in February.

Mairead and Mick Philpott appeared via a split-screen video-link to the prisons where they are being held on remand.

During today's hour-long hearing, the pair spoke only to enter their pleas, give their names, and confirm that they could hear and see the proceedings.

Mick Philpott, wearing a cream-coloured jumper, held his head in his hands and was heard to sob as two of the charges, which related to Jade and Jayden, were put to him by the court clerk.

His wife, wearing a blue T-shirt and sitting behind a desk, showed no obvious emotion as she denied each of the six new charges.

A further administrative hearing is due to be held in January and the trial, which may last for up to five weeks, is scheduled to begin on February 11.

PA