UK couple face jail over kids' fire deaths

2013-04-03 12:01
Mairead and Mick Philpott react during a 2012 news conference following a fire at their home, which claimed the lives of six of his children. (File, AP)

Mairead and Mick Philpott react during a 2012 news conference following a fire at their home, which claimed the lives of six of his children. (File, AP)

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London - A British couple are facing long jail terms for starting a fire that killed six of their children, in what prosecutors say was an attention-grabbing stunt gone tragically wrong.

Mick and Mairead Philpott have been convicted of manslaughter over the May 2012 fire in Derby, central England.

The deaths of the children, aged 5 to 13, and the twisting saga that ensued have horrified and fascinated Britain.

Prosecutors said the couple hatched a plan to start the gasoline-fuelled fire and then rescue the children, pinning blame on Mick Philpott's former mistress.

The trial exposed details of an unorthodox life in which Mick Philpott -who had 17 children with five women - lived with both his wife and girlfriend in a small house.

The couple will be sentenced on Wednesday.

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