THE mistress of former Mansfield man Mick Philpott was a bridesmaid at his wedding when he married his wife Mairead, a jury was told today (Wednesday).
The two women had been ‘taking it in turns’ to sleep with him at the house in Derby which they shared.
The women had 10 children in all by him during the three-side relationship which lasted 10 years, Nottingham Crown Court heard.
The three-bedroomed semi-detached house was later the scene of a tragic house fire in which six of Mick and Mairead’s children were killed.
It is alleged Mick Philpott had planned to frame his mistress Lisa Willis over the fire after she jilted him and a custody battle had begun over her five children, four of them his.
But the jury were told by the prosecution the plan went ‘horribly wrong’.
The jury heard it had been planned that the fire would be started but the children would be led safely out.
Miss Willis (29) giving evidence, said she had her first child at 16 but broke up with the father.
When she was 17 she met Mick Philpott who was in his 40s and was invited by him to leave her two-bedroom council house and live with him and Mairead.
Within a few weeks she had begun a sexual relationship with him. He asked Mairead and she said he was ‘fine about it’.
Shortly after she moved in Miss Willis said Mick Philpott hit her with a piece of wood which left her crying on the floor.
She felt ‘shocked and disappointed’ but had no-one to turn to and the relationship continued.
She was not allowed to go out shopping on her own and if she wanted to leave the house, Mick Philpott wanted to know where she was going.
Her child benefits went into his bank account as did Mairead’s.
When asked about the domestic arrangements, Miss Willis said: “We took it in turns, not the three of us together.
“One night he’d be with me, another night with Mairead.”
Mick Philpott was the chauffeur, driving the children to school and the two women to work.
Miss Willis said she was a bridesmaid when Mick and Mairead got married but afterwards, in front of Mairead, he said he wished he’d married her instead.
She said she became unhappy with the ‘regime’ involving the children, work and money.
At first she had been happy with the sexual set-up but when she’d had enough she began to make up excuses.
The jury was told how she fled with the children to a secret refuge, three months before the fire last May.
At the time she left there had been 11 children living in the house.
Mick Philpott had two other children by another woman who were living in Mansfield.
One of the children had moved into the Derby house with him but was back living in Mansfield at the time of the fire.
Mick Philpott (56), Mairead Philpott and a third defendant Paul Mosely (46) all deny six counts of manslaughter.
The trial continues.