Derby house fire parents Mick and Mairead Philpott to face trial next year

 

The parents of six children killed in a house fire will go on trial for their murder next year.

At a preliminary hearing at Nottingham Crown Court today Mick Philpott, 55, and his wife Mairead, 31, who was caressing a crucifix on a long chain worn around her neck, were told they will go on trial next January.

The couple are charged with murder following a blaze at their home on Victory Road in Allenton, Derby, on May 11.

Jade Philpott, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jessie, six and Jayden, five, all died in the fire. Duwayne, 13, died in Birmingham Children's Hospital two days later.

There was a packed public gallery for the short hearing but no outbursts like at the couple's two previous court appearances.

Mrs Philpott, who wore a beige knitted jumper, could be seen to kiss a crucifix she was wearing around her neck while Mr Philpott, who wore a purple jumper, black tracksuit bottoms and a St Christopher, stared straight ahead in the dock.

The judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Colman Treacy, told them they would go on trial for murder on January 14 next year.

No applications for bail were made. The couple were remanded into custody to next appear for a plea and case management hearing at Nottingham Crown Court on November 5.

Today's hearing comes ahead of a funeral service for the six children.

Church officials have confirmed that Mr and Mrs Philpott will not be attending the service, which is to take place on Friday in Derby.

In a statement issued to local media, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nottingham said the funeral service would be followed by burials at Derby's Nottingham Road Cemetery.

Father Alan Burbidge, the family priest who will be conducting the service, said the funeral will take place at St Mary's Catholic Church at 11am.

"The family have chosen that church as a venue because they are Catholic children and they wanted a full Requiem Mass in a Catholic church," he added.

The Prison Service has not confirmed whether Mr and Mrs Philpott applied for leave to attend the funeral but said a risk assessment would be carried out if an application was made.

A spokeswoman said: "We do not comment on the movements of individual prisoners.

"Prisoners can apply for escorted visits to attend the funeral of a close relative, but it will always be subject to a strict risk assessment."

PA

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