In December 1978 Philpott had been tried, sentenced and jailed for GBH and attempted murder.
But this previous conviction can’t be revealed to the court and it’s decided to reduce the charge against Philpott from murder to manslaughter.
In March 2013, at Nottingham Crown Court, he is charged with six counts of manslaughter.
He pleads ‘Not Guilty.’
Unbeknownst to him, the police have maintained their bugging operation. The van that takes him and Mairead to their first court appearance records them repeating the phrase of ‘sticking to the story’.
In court, Philpott is once again the centre of attention:
“It was the Philpott show. His description of his sexual behaviour, references to his dogging, to his threesomes, to his sexual desires. The fact that that even featured at the trial, following the death of his six children is shocking.”
Dr Keri Nixon, Forensic Psychologist
As deplorable as the spectacle is, there is the consolation that he is sealing his own fate with the jurors. Both they and the judge come to see that here is a man without a ‘moral compass’.
He is so delusional that he writes to his friend Mick Russell of the rape fantasies he wants to put into practise as soon as the trial is over. The letter has echoes of the equally misjudged letter he sent to his first victim Kim Hill. In that, he asked a woman he’d nearly killed to consider marriage. In this letter, he describes to his friend how they’ll visit the kids’ graves and force Mairead to have sex with them.
Brothers Jamie and Darren Butler give evidence. Their descriptions of Philpott and Mairead on the night of the fire are damning. Darren tries to catch the attention of either of the accused. Neither will look at him.
The court hears how petrol additives are on the parent’s clothing, and on the jeans, jumper and one of the shoes of Philpott’s friend, Paul Mosley. Witnesses report that Paul had said they’d all practised starting the fire six weeks prior to the crime.
The image of the children being at least well cared for also starts to crack. It emerges that all but one of them went to sleep in their clothes that night. The parents were too intent on getting drunk, stoned and having a threesome to even dress their children in their pyjamas.
On 3 April, Mick Philpott, 56, Mairead Philpott, 31 and their friend Paul Mosley, 46 are found guilty of manslaughter.
“...this is a unique sentencing exercise. You have each been convicted of 6 counts of manslaughter. Each count represents the death of a child.”
Mrs Justice Thirwall, Sentencing Judge
Mick Philpott is given a life sentence with a minimum of 15 years inside.
Mairead and Mosley are jailed for 17 years.
As Philpott was lead away the court echoes with cries of ‘Die, Mick, die’. He responds true to form. He sticks two fingers up.
Mairead and Mosley will likely serve only half their sentence. But Mick will not be released if the Parole Board considers him still a threat. Even then, he’ll be on a ‘life license’ meaning he could be recalled to jail at any time.