Parents charged with murder of six children in Derby house fire


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The Independent Online

A mother and father have been charged with the murder of their six children who died after a fire at their home in Derby.

Mick Philpott and his wife Mairead were arrested in Derby city centre on Tuesday in connection with the blaze at the house on 11 May. Last night, they were charged with six counts of murder, a spokesman for Derbyshire Police said. They were due to appear before Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court this morning.

Five of their children – Jade, 10, John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six, and Jayden, five – died in the fire. A sixth, Duwayne, 13, died of his injuries in Birmingham Children's Hospital two days later.

Five days after the fire, the Philpotts faced the media in an emotional press conference. Mr Philpott thanked those who tried to rescue his children and spoke of how he and his wife had decided to donate Duwayne's organs for transplant, saying it "takes a bit of the pain away". The 55-year-old, who is believed to have fathered 17 children, was said by police to have made "valiant" efforts to rescue his children during the blaze.

Derbyshire Police's Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill said last night: "Following the appeal yesterday a number of people have come forward with more information but I want to stress that the two charges this evening should not be seen as the end of the investigation. We are determined to get to the truth."