Playing With Fire: The Story Of Mick & Mairead Philpott | Killer Couple

(Mick and Mairead Philpott. Picture credit:

If you follow me on Instagram you may remember me talking briefly about this shocking case a few months ago. I only gave a few details of what took place but that was enough to disgust people as it should. I want to talk a bit more about it in this post and I just want to point out that I will be talking about child death and that is always a difficult thing to read about especially in these circumstances.

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I'll start off talking about Mick Philpott who saw himself as a real ladies man when in fact he was just a control freak and publicity whore who was and is a very dangerous man. He was born in 1956 in Derbyshire, England and was in the Army for a brief period of time in the 70s. He was in a relationship with a woman around about this time and the woman, who was fed up of Mick's controlling behaviour, tried to end the relationship to which he violently attacked her one night by stabbing her 15 times. The woman's mother was in another room sleeping when she was woken up to hear her daughter's screams to find Mick Philpott brandishing a knife. He attacked her and then fled the scene. He served 7 years for this attempted murder. Mick had a history of being controlling and violent in relationships.

He met Mairead when she was 19 but she was a young 19, and she was just his type because she was very naive and had just gotten out of another relationship. People who had previously been in a relationship with him have spoken of how charming he was in the beginning but as soon as they got to know him they would soon seen the real him.

Things moved pretty fast between Mick an Mairead and they were soon married with one of Mick's mistresses, Lisa being a bridesmaid. Mairead's father later commented that Mick spent the majority of the wedding reception flirting with other women whilst Mairead was sat on her own, he wanted to say something to Mick about his behaviour but he didn't want to cause a scene on his daughter's wedding day.

Mick, himself said that if he saw an attractive woman or she made a pass at him, he wouldn't say no whether he was in a relationship or not. He had no respect for the women that he was in a relationship with. A previous girlfriend mentioned that one time she was in a crowded pub with him and he punched her in the face in full view of everyone and nobody said a word. A lot of people seemed to feel intimidated by him and he did walk around like he owned the place.

Mick and Mairead had 5 children together and Mick's son from another marriage lived with them as well as his mistress, Lisa who also had children by him. He became known as ''Shameless Mick'' who had fathered 17 children with different women. His bizarre lifestyle of having a wife, a mistress and a house packed with children whilst living on benefits attracted the local press. This article soon went nationwide and before anyone knew it, Mick was becoming somewhat of a celebrity and he loved the attention. He did interviews for newspapers proudly declaring what a fantastic guy he was and how he had two women who he slept with whenever he felt like it. He had a caravan at the side of the house and each night he would take either Mairead or Lisa in there for sex. His neighbour, Paul would often come over and join them for sex sessions. Mick was into dogging, swinging and watching other men with either Mairead or Lisa. The two women also did jobs whilst Mick stayed at home or went to the pub. He had control over everything, Mairead and Lisa's wages, what items were to be put on the shopping list, what would be happening that day amongst other things.

Mick appeared on the popular TV talk show Jeremy Kyle boasting about his lifestyle. He also took part in a documentary which saw a female politician visit his house and interview him about his lifestyle. Mick was over confident and very narcissistic.

With the money that he got from benefits and Lisa and Mairead's wages, the house was packed with the latest gadgets, they had a caravan, a minibus etc. Mick lived the high life and didn't have to work for it, but the party was coming to an end, Lisa was getting fed up and wanted to move out and take the children that she had with him with her.

Out of the two women, Lisa was said to have been the strongest, she would speak up if she wasn't happy about something but she still obeyed Mick. Mairead wouldn't dare say a word out of turn to Mick, she was completely under his control. Mick was quite happy with how things were but he wanted a bigger house and moaned about that constantly, he felt like the world owed him a living.

Mairead would often go to a neighbours house for a cup of coffee and a chat and this neighbour began to notice bruises appearing on a regular basis on Mairead. When she asked Mairead about it she made up excuses. The neighbour offered to help her get away from Mick but she refused.

There was a lot of arguments in the house and Mick and Lisa were not getting on at all, she wanted out and this time she meant it, she packed her things, sorted the children out and they left. Mick was full of rage and hated the fact that Lisa (who was his favourite of the two women) left him, it was a huge bruise to his ego. He wanted revenge and all the attention from the media had dried up, nobody cared about what Mick Philpott with his house full of kids and 2 partners were up to anymore.

When he heard that Lisa wanted full custody of the children, this angered him even more, It was the final nail in the coffin, she wasn't coming back, he'd lose some of the benefit money and her wages. He couldn't stand that and came up with a plan with Mairead.

It was a stupid and ridiculous plan which involved starting a fire the night before the custody hearing. He'd leave the house burning just enough so the neighbours would see and then he'd jump into the house and save the kids. He envisioned that he would be named a hero across all of the newspapers, that's what he wanted. He managed to persuade his neighbour Paul to join in to which he agreed. They wanted to make it look like Lisa had set fire to the house. They thought they would gain money, publicity, custody of the children and a bigger house out of it.

The night before the custody hearing on the 11th of May 2012, Mick, Mairead and their neighbour, Paul Mosley put their plan into action (setting the house on fire) but instead of Mick playing the hero father rushing in to save the children, the fire quickly spread as Mick had previously used materials on the walls that were flammable so once the match was lit, the whole place went up so fast.

six children were in the house. upstairs asleep as this was the early hours of the morning, Neighbours came rushing to the scene, including two brave brothers who did everything they possibly could to try and get into the house to save the children. The brothers noticed that Mick and Mairead were acting strange for people who's children were in serious danger. Mairead phone 999 and requested that a fire engine, the police and an ambulance came to the scene as soon as possible, Mick could be heard in the background shouting ''I want to get out, I want to get out''. The call sounded like a really bad attempt at trying to sound panicked from the pair of them.

(The two neighbours who tried to get into the house to save the children have said how that night has scarred them for life. Picture credit: Sky News

The fire fighters did all they could to get the children out as fast as they could but the fire was too strong. The paramedics (in full view of horrified onlookers as there was no time to waste) battled to save the children on the pavement in the front of the house. The eldest boy (Mick's son from a previous relationship) was barely managing to hang on and was rushed to the hospital. the other five children were already deceased.

It was a horrific sight and everyone was devastated but Mick and Mairead were acting suspicious, like they'd been caught in a lie. They may not have planned to kill their children but they sure as hell didn't seem to care that they were dead, they didn't even shed a tear.

Their behaviour in the days after the fire and the deaths of their children spoke volumes. The police were watching them and bugged the hotel room that they were staying in but Mick thought he was so clever and that he had it all under control. He thought he was smarter than the police. A true narcissist.

(The house on 18 Victory Road where members of the public left floral tributes and teddybears to the young children. Picture credit: Daily Mail

Just a few days after the deaths of their children they were bragging about all of the money they had made, they were seen singing during a karaoke night at a local pub, Mick went around asking supermarkets for free food because he was the grieving father. None of the general public knew any of this, I remember at the time that there was a lot of sympathy for them. People close to them began to suspect that something was not right.

The police had originally arrested Lisa but let her go and kept their eyes on Mick and Mairead. They also interviewed Paul Mosley, the neighbour and close friend of the couple. Mick started to become nervous when the police went to Pauls house. To keep Paul quiet, he arranged for Mairead to perform regular sex acts on him.

(Paul Mosley. Picture credit: Daily Mail)

Mick's oldest son Duwayne who was just 13 years old, was in the hospital fighting for his life. Mick and Mairead had to be forced to visit the boy as they couldn't be bothered. There was no tears, no panic, no worry. They just didn't care. When some relatives offered to keep an eye on Duwayne whilst Mick and Mairead took a break to get some coffee for an hour or two, they didn't bother to come back until very late that night. Mick and Mairead had sneaked off to have sex whilst Duwayne was lying there in hospital on the brink of death. When they finally returned, Mairead had love bites all over her neck and they both looked flustered.

Duwayne sadly passed away and their reaction was pretty much the same. There was no genuine feeling from the pair of them. Six of the children were now gone and they were acting like nothing had happened, They did put on a really bad performance of the grieving parents for the cameras but there was not one single tear in their eyes.

They did, what has now been considered one of the most infamous press conferences and demonstrations of ''crocodile tears'' in British history. The pair pretended to be devastated as Mick spoke to the cameras. Mairead had her head down the whole time and her face scrunched up, no tears. She would glance up and look at Mick occasionally. Mick had a tissue which he kept pressing to his forehead to make it look like he was crying (he was doing a terrible job). Not once was the children mentioned. After the press conference, members of the public began to suspect that they might be behind what happened. Previous clips of Mick's TV appearances resurfaced and painted him once again as a money hungry fame whore.

Here's a clip of the press conference.

(Mick and Mairead at their infamous press conference. Picture credit: Mirror

They were still under the watchful eye of the police who had their hotel room bugged. Mick was overheard asking Mairead if they were going to stick to the story. He asked her how hard did she cry during the interviews with the police. Paul Mosley also visited their hotel room where Mairead performed sex acts on him again in an attempt to keep him quiet.

The police noticed that both Mairead and Mick's statements were 90% the same, they even used the same phrasing when describing what happened that night.

It didn't take long for them to be arrested and charged with murder along with Paul. Towards the end of 2012, the charges were downgraded to manslaughter.

The funeral for all six of the Philpott children took place on the 22nd of June 2012. Members of the public attended (they were requested by the family members to wear bright coloured clothing) and raised money to pay for the service, the six horse drawn hearses, the white coffins (which had each child's name written on in decorative font) and their memorial stones. As is quite obvious, Mick and Mairead were not at the service.

On the 2nd of April 2013, both Mick and Paul were found guilty by unanimous verdicts whilst Mairead was found guilty by a majority verdict.

On the 4th of April 2013, Mick received a sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum of 15 years.

Both Mairead and Paul received a sentence of 17 years imprisonment.

Mick is currently serving his sentence in Wakefield Prison, in Wakefield, England. The prison is a high security prison and is nicknamed ''Monster Mansion'' because it is home to some of the most dangerous serial killers and sex offenders in the UK and maybe even the world,

On the 29th of November 2013, Mairead tried to appeal her sentence claiming that she was under the control of Mick. Her act of playing the downtrodden wife didn't work and the appeal was dismissed.

The house where the horrific events happened on 18 Victory road (Derby, England) has since been demolished.

(The funerals of the six children who died in the fire. Picture credit: BBC

Since Mick has been in prison he has moaned to anyone who will listen that he is an innocent man despite the overwhelming evidence against him (I forgot to mention that all three had traces of petrol on their clothes that night). He claims the whole thing was a set up and he's been framed. Every now and then a story will pop up about him in prison, he's put on weight or he's moaned about something. He regularly writes to pen pals telling them how hard life has been for him. Mairead has allegedly began a relationship with another man and claims that she was abused by Mick and scared of him. Paul tried to appeal his sentence but it was dismissed.

I remember being at work and seeing the newspapers on the staff room table with the pictures of the children on the front pages, it really shocked everyone and nobody could have imagined that the parents of these poor children would be behind the whole thing.

Do I think they intended to kill their children? In my opinion, I don't think they wanted to kill the children but they didn't really care what happened to those children. They didn't really love them at all, the children were seen as a means to an end. Mick Philpott had children so that he could continue to live on welfare and wanted a bigger house. He managed to fund a lavish lifestyle despite not working by living on handouts.

Mick didn't love anybody but himself. There was no feeling of guilt or remorse from either of them once they had realised that those children had died. Look at how they treated Duwayne as he was in the hospital. Who has sex when they're child is in hospital fighting for their life and 5 of your children have already died just days before.

As for Mairead, she could have left him plenty of times, neighbours offered her a place to stay, her family wanted her to leave Mick and she could have left with Lisa. She stayed because she wanted to because at the end of the day Mick meant more to her than her own kids. She would have done absolutely anything for him which was proven when they planned this thing together, the way they conspired together, lied together and then agreeing to sleep with Paul to keep him silent and keep Mick happy. The fact that she was quite happy for him to have a live in mistress who he would sleep with a few times a week when he didn't want to sleep with her. What woman in their right mind puts up with that or goes to great lengths for a man over her own children. In my opinion she is just as cold hearted as he is, she's just more quiet about it and plays the quiet little victim who's under Micks thumb, but I think she is devious. She divorced Mick in 2014.

My thoughts on Paul...Paul and Mick shared everything from prostitutes to drugs and had a very close relationship, they both shared the same sexual tastes and enjoyed dogging, swinging and orgies. The fact that Mick, a well known narcissist allowed Paul to sleep with his partners shows that he didn't see Paul as a threat but he would get jealous if another man took an interest in his partners. Paul and Mick are very much alike. I don't Know much about Paul's background but I think it tells us all that we need to know with his deep friendship with Mick, his behaviour before and after the fire and the fact that he's been trying to appeal his sentence. 17 years is a joke as it is for what he did and he thinks he is owed a reduced term which shows no remorse and utter disrespect for those children.

(Mick Philpott playing the doting father with the six innocent angels who's lives were taken as a result of his heartless actions and sheer greed. Picture credit: Daily Mail)

This was a shocking and horrendous case and it's still hard to believe that it happened. I hope that all three remain behind bars for the rest of their lives. Six innocent lives lost and for what? a bigger house? a new car? more money? it's just unbelievable. 

I hope that I have provided more information to you about this case, I have included interesting documentaries and articles below if you are interested in looking further into Mick Philpott and his previous relationships. I wanted to briefly focus on his background and more on his relationship with Mairead for this post as I was limited on time.

Jayden (5)
Jessie (6)
Jack (8)
John (9)
Jade (10)
Duwayne (13) 

RIP x x x x x x

[UPDATE: NOV 2020. Mairead Philpott has been released from prison after serving only half of her sentence. She will be given a new identity.]

Thank you for checking out my latest case x x

Further reading & sources:

Mick Philpott Article | Daily Mail
Mick Philpott Article | Mirror
The Philpott Fire | HITC
Allenton House Fire | Wikipedia
Mairead Philpott | ITV News
Mick Philpott | Wikipedia
Mick Philpott | Murderpedia
Paul Mosley Article | BBC
Mick & Mairead Philpott | Documentary
Mick & Mairead Press Conference | ITN
Mick Philpott | Britain's Darkest Taboos | Documentary

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Check out some of the true crime cases I have covered previously:

The Most Evil Cult Leader In History? | Roch Theriault

The Truck Stop Serial Killer 

Deadly Lust: The Pamela Smart Story 

The Dark & Haunting History of Overtoun Bridge 

The Stuff Of Nightmares | The Toy Box Killer: David Parker Ray

Beyond Evil: The Murder of Jessica Lunsford 

Death Row Scot: The Kenny Richey Story: Part One

Death Row Scot: The Kenny Richey Story: Part Two

Death Row Scot: The kenny Richey Story: Part Three

Don't Talk, Just Listen...The Weepy Voiced Killer

Amityville | The DeFeo Murders

What Really Happened To Mavis Bran? 

Nowhere To Run: The Marilyn McKenna Story | Part One

 Unsolved : Part Three: The Highway Of Tears & The Disappearance Of Maddy Scott 

Unsolved: Part Two | What Happened To Melanie Melanson? 

- Unsolved: Part One | Molly Bish & Holly Piirainen 

The Dark Side of The Internet: The Amanda Todd Story 

The Story of Bible John

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  1. I remember this when it hit the TV those three people are sick like you said they did not give a dam about the children they just loved money and the attention from everyone. I hope all three of them rot in hell. R. I. P. to the children. Jayden Jessie Jack John Jade

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