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Derby fire parents’ murder charge

 

The Irish mother and the father of six children killed in an arson attack in Derby were charged yesterday with their murder.

 

Dad-of-17 Mick Philpott, 55, and his wife Mairead, 31, are appearing in court today over the horrific blaze.

 

The victims, whose ages ranged from 13 to five, died after the arson attack on May 11.

 

The couple were last seen weeping on television at a press conference as police described how petrol was poured through the letterbox of the family home and set alight.

 

Jade Philpott, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six, and Jayden, five, all perished in the blaze, in Allenton, Derby.

 

Duwayne Philpott, 13, died of his injuries in Birmingham Children’s Hospital two days’ later.

 

Announcing the arrests Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill said: “I suspect there may still be people with crucial information who have not yet come forward to speak to us.

 

“In view of the arrests, I would urge anyone who may have been holding back, not felt comfortable to voice their concerns or not had the confidence, to do so now.

 

“They have my personal reassurance that we will deal with their information sensitively. “We still need information to help us in this inquiry.

 

“The latest arrests are just one step further in the investigation.

 

“It is absolutely vital that if you know anything you think could help us, come forward now, do not wait any longer. It is important that we find justice for these six young children.”

 

Mr Cotterill added: “Although the fire happened more than two weeks ago, this is a complex inquiry and it will take time for us to piece together the events from that tragic evening.

 

“I know this case has deeply affected the local community and residents want answers as to what happened and why.

 

“But I would ask them to be patient and to continue to show the excellent support they have given us to date.”

 

Anyone with information is being urged to contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

 

The force said it was increasing its presence on Victory Road where the blaze took place with a mobile police station returning to the area along with extra patrols.

 

Forensic examinations are continuing at the house.

 

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