Pair 'slept with Philpott in turns'

Bicester Advertiser: Mick Philpott and his wife Mairead are accused of killing their six children in a house fire in Derby Mick Philpott and his wife Mairead are accused of killing their six children in a house fire in Derby

The former mistress of a man accused of killing his children in a house fire has told a court how she and his wife used to alternate the nights they would sleep with him.

Lisa Willis, 29, said she would sleep with Mick Philpott one night and his wife Mairead, 31, would sleep with him the other night at the home they all shared with their children. She told Nottingham Crown Court: "We took it in turns, we never had all three of us together."

She went on: "We would take it in turns at night so one night it would be me, one night it would be Mairead."

Miss Willis said the children slept upstairs and this arrangement continued until they bought a caravan which stood on the driveway of the house. The woman who would be sleeping with Philpott on any given night went to the caravan with him, while the other woman slept inside with the children.

Miss Willis told the court about the domestic arrangements at 56-year-old Philpott's manslaughter trial. He denies six counts of manslaughter in relation to the deaths of the six children. His wife and a third defendant, 46-year-old Paul Mosley, also deny the same six charges.

Mick and Mairead Philpott's children - Jade, 10, and her brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, Jayden, five, and Duwayne, 13 - all perished after the fire which engulfed their home in Victory Road, Allenton, Derby, as they slept in their beds in the early hours of May 11 last year.

It is alleged by prosecutor Richard Latham QC that the Philpotts and Mosley started the fire in a botched plan to set Miss Willis up as the culprit after she and her five children, four of whom were fathered by Philpott, left the relationship.

Miss Willis, who gave evidence to the court from behind a screen, said she met Philpott when she was 17, and that he was a friend of her sister's. She already had a young son with another man and was living in a two-bed council house at the time but was hoping to move to larger accommodation, which she was struggling to get.

After getting better acquainted with Philpott he suggested she moved in with him and his wife, though they were not married at the time. The couple had a son and a daughter and Miss Willis told the court that when they decided to marry she was a bridesmaid at their wedding.

Her relationship with Philpott became sexual "weeks" after she moved in to the Victory Road council house, and it was something which did not bother Philpott's wife.

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