Former Mansfield man Mick Philpott was angry with social worker over custody battle, court told

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A SOCIAL worker told a jury that former Mansfield man Mick Philpott was ‘quite threatening’ at a meeting a fortnight after six of his children died in a house fire.

Team manager Suzanne Eastwood told Nottingham Crown Court that Philpott demanded the return of the five children living with his ex-mistress Lisa Willis, four of them his.

Philpott, 56, a father of 17, claimed the people of Derby were after Willis and the children would be in danger staying with her.

Philpott, his wife Mairead, 31, and his friend Paul Mosley, 46, plead not guilty to the manslaughter of the Philpotts’ six children in a fire at the family home in Derby last May.

It is claimed the plan to start a fire, then frame Willis for it as a tactic in a custody battle, went horribly wrong.

The witness said when Willis was arrested on suspicion of murder on the day of the fire, May11, temporary foster care was arranged for her children.

Eastwood said she received a phone call from solicitors on May 23 and a meeting was arranged with the Philpotts.

Mick Philpott showed no emotion when he described going to the mortuary to see his children. “I was quite taken aback,” said the witness.

She told Philpott that the children in foster care were being returned that day to Willis.

“He was really not happy about this. He got to his feet, he was shouting and said he no longer wanted to talk to me.”

He demanded the children be released to him and said his wife was a better mum than Willis.

“He said he wanted to know where they were as he was going to get them. I told him it was confidential,” said Eastwood.

Earlier, Detective Superintendent Kate Meynell, the senior investigating officer, said Willis had been arrested and taken into custody but was released without charge as there was insufficient evidence to connect her with the incident.

Over 100 people on her team were involved in the investigation at its height.

Neighbour Scott Poxon gave evidence that his partner received a phone call from Mick Philpott after the fire.

Philpott claimed the police had told him some one had poured petrol through his letter box.

Poxon told the court: “I was shocked.”

The trial continues.