Court told of Philpott’s ‘fake faint’ at mortuary

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A MAN accused of killing his six children in a house fire faked a faint during a visit to see their bodies at a mortuary, a court has heard.

Marie Smith, manager of the mortuary at Royal Derby Hospital, told Nottingham Crown Court yesterday that Mick Philpott appeared to faint when he came with wife Mairead to view the children for the first time after the fire at their house in Derby in May last year.

Ms Smith told jurors: “It looked very unlikely to me that it was a genuine faint. Because of my experience working in that department, having seen many friends and relatives faint for whatever reason, it didn’t appear to me to be genuine.”

She said Philpott, who was lying in the recovery position when she went into the viewing room, apparently woke up when she mentioned getting a doctor.

“He immediately woke up and got up when I said I was going to get a doctor,” she told the court.

Ms Smith told the court that Philpott, who is accused with his wife and a third defendant, Paul Mosley, of manslaughter, referred to his children as “little s****” and indulged in “horseplay” with the liaison officer who accompanied the family, putting him in a headlock during another visit.

“His behaviour seemed to be irrational. It wasn’t fitting with what had taken place with the children. He’d be quite angry one minute and then be apologising to everyone the next – it didn’t appear to be genuine.”

She said during another visit it became “a circus”, with about a dozen people turning up at the mortuary.

“There was quite a lot of people – about a dozen had come to mortuary that day.

“It was quite a circus – there was a lot of people present and a lot of to-ing and fro-ing out of the viewing area,” Ms Smith told the court.

The trial, which is in its third week, continues.