The father of six children who died in an arson attack in Derby is under police protection with his Irish wife.
As the hunt continues for the firebug who started the killer blaze after pouring petrol through the letterbox of their home in Allenton, last week, devastated dad Mick Philpott, and his wife Mairead – whose parents are from Dublin – are said to be “living in fear of their lives”.
Family priest Father Alan Burbidge said: “Mairead and Mick wonder who is out there wanting to damage their family.
“Until the police catch whoever is responsible, they are living in fear of their lives. They are staying at a hotel with police keeping a close watch”.
Five of Mick’s children died when the council semi was torched. Jade,10, and brothers John, 9, Jack, 7, Jessie, 6, and Jayden ,5, all died as a result of smoke inhalation.
Mairead and Mick then had to take the agonising decision to switch off the life support machine for 13-year-old Duwayne, whose organs were donated to help others.
Fr Burbidge also revealed the funerals for the six children will take place at Derby Cathedral, and not in the local Catholic church as had originally been planned, due to the huge number of people expected to attend.
A fund raising event is due to be held to help pay for the funerals, which are expected to include six horse-drawn hearses.
Fr Burbidge, 70, who also has Irish roots – his grandmother was from west Clare – has again said prayers at St George’s Church, Old Normanton, for the six children killed in the blaze.
“We prayed for the little ones who died, and we prayed particularly for the parents Mick and Mairead,” he explained.
For the full story see this week’s Irish Post out Wednesday, May 23.