UK parents jailed for deaths of 6 children

2013-04-04 12:34
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 judge has sentenced the father of six British children who died in a house fire to life, with a minimum of 15 years in prison, describing him as the "driving force" behind setting the blaze.

Judge Kathryn Thirlwall leveled most of the responsibility for the fire on Mick Philpott, describing him as a dangerous man. His wife, Mairead, and family friend Paul Mosley each received 17 years for manslaughter.

Prosecutors say the couple hatched a plan to start a gasoline-fuelled fire and then rescue the children, pinning blame on Philpott's mistress so he could gain advantage in their child custody battle.

The plan went wrong within minutes, because the fire was far bigger than expected and the father was unable to smash a window to get in.

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