Derby house fire trial hears secret police recordings of Mick Philpott

A SPEECH expert told a jury he had listened many times to a secret police recording but could not hear Mick Philpott say ‘I didn’t mean to do it.’

Dr Martin Barry, a forensic speech analyst employed by the defence, was giving evidence at the end of the second week of the manslaughter trial at Nottingham Crown Court.

Former Mansfield man Philpott, 56, his wife Mairead, 31, and family friend Paul Mosley, 46, deny unlawfully killing the Philpotts’ six children in a fire at the couple’s home in Derby.

As the prosecution case continued, the witness was asked about sound recordings, played in court, which were made in a bugged police van. The van was taking the Philpotts to their first appearance at Derby magistrates’ court almost three weeks after the fatal fire last May.

It is alleged Mick Philpott whispered to his wife: ‘Are you definitely sticking to the story?’

Dr Barry said he could hear only ‘definitely sticking to the story.’

He did not hear the words ‘I didn’t mean to do it.’ In his notes he had marked that section ‘unclear.’

He had listened several thousand times to the passage, he said.

Banging noises can be heard on the recording.

Later the jury were played, for a second time, the harrowing 999 call made by the Philpotts on the night of the fire.

The jury had headphones and were told they should be able to hear much more clearly.

They were also played a recording of the press conference before the Philpotts were arrested.

It was introduced by a police officer who said at that stage it was known the fire was deliberately just inside the front door and petrol had been used.

Smoke had gone upstairs to where the children were sleeping. The Philpotts were elsewhere on the ground floor.

The trial continues.