Mick Philpott was described as a “disturbingly dangerous man” with “no moral compass” as he was sentenced to life in jail today for killing six of his children in a house fire.
He and his wife Mairead, along with their friend Paul Mosley, were each found guilty of six counts of manslaughter on Tuesday after a trial at Nottingham Crown Court.
Judge Mrs Justice Thirlwall said Philpott was the “driving force” behind the plot as she ordered him to serve a minimum of 15 years in prison, and told him: “You are a disturbingly dangerous man. Your guiding principle is what Mick Philpott wants, Mick Philpott gets. You have no moral compass.”
Mairead Philpott and Mosley were both jailed for 17 years.
Philpott looked down at the floor, wiping tears from his eyes, as the judge passed sentence.
Mairead Philpott wept as she was jailed.
Mosley showed no reaction, sitting motionless and looking over at public gallery.
Family members in the public gallery applauded as the judge finished her sentencing.
One shouted: “Die, Mick, die.”
Another said: “See you, Mairead. Hope you enjoy life on your own.”
“Your own babies,” another called out.
In response, Philpott smiled and made an obscene gesture as he was led from the dock.
Philpott, 56, his 32-year-old wife and Mosley, 46, were all found guilty of killing Jade Philpott, 10, and her brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, Jayden, five, and Duwayne, 13, in the fire at their home in Victory Road, Allenton, Derby, in the early hours of May 11 last year.
The trio started the fire in an attempt to frame Philpott’s ex, 29-year-old Lisa Willis, after she left the family home with her children three months earlier.
The judge described the plot to set fire to the house and rescue the children as “a wicked and dangerous plan” that was “outside the comprehension of any right-thinking person”.
She said there was “no precedent” for the case, describing it as a “uniquely grave set of offences”.
Philpott had become “obsessed” with Ms Willis and, after she left, did everything to get her back, said Mrs Justice Thirlwall.
She told him: “You could not stand the fact that she had crossed you. You were determined to make sure she came back and you began to put together your plan.”
Philpott treated women as his “chattels”, the judge told him, adding: “You barked orders and they would obey. You were the kingpin, No-one else mattered.”
The judge also said Philpott used his conviction for attempting to murder a girlfriend in 1978 to terrify other women.
She said: “You have repeatedly used that conviction as a means of controlling other women, terrified as to what you would do to them.”
The six children were subjected to a terrifying ordeal, Mrs Justice Thirlwall went on.
“Their terror was the price they were going to pay for your callous selfishness. In fact, they paid with their six young lives.”
She added: “Mercifully, the deaths were swift and, it would appear, without pain.”
The judge told Mairead Philpott, who will serve half of her sentence in jail, that she believed her grief was real.
“I accept you feel their loss profoundly. Your children were your route to fulfilment.
“You loved them and you cared for them.”
However, she added: “You put Michael Philpott above your children and, as a result, they have died.”
It emerged in court that unemployed Philpott was on bail for a violent road rage incident at the time of the children’s deaths.
A week before the fire he had appeared in court and admitted common assault but denied dangerous driving after punching another driver who he thought had pulled out in front of him at a roundabout.
In addition, in 1978 he was sentenced to seven years in prison after he repeatedly stabbed a former girlfriend and received a concurrent five-year sentence for grievous bodily harm with intent after also attacking her mother when she tried to intervene.
In 1991 he received a two-year conditional discharge for assault occasioning actual bodily harm after he headbutted a colleague, and in 2010 he was given a police caution after slapping his wife and dragging her outside by her hair.
Dawn Bestwick, Philpott's sister, told reporters waiting outside court that justice had been done for the children.
“Victory to them,” she said. “They’ve gone down. That’s it.”
She added that the six youngsters could now “rest in peace”.
Andy Lyons, Mosley’s brother-in-law, said: “We don’t have an eye for an eye.
“We’re not a Third World country but the sentence is the best that the judge can give and makes England the greatest nation in the world.”