At the moment the main news story in the UK was the death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. That pause gave us time to reflect on the news on Sunday 7th April that the home where six children died in a pre-planned fire in Derby, England is due to be demolished. The lantern lighting ceremony in memory of the children was repeated this year. This follows the conviction and sentencing of Mick Philpott, his wife Mairead and co-conspirator Paul Moseley who had reportedly planned to destroy the home in order to be moved to a bigger one, whilst rescuing the children, but who left it to others to attempt the intended rescue.
Philpott received a life sentence for the manslaughter and the other defendants 17 years. Despite Mick Philpott being imprisoned until eligible for parole aged 71, any serious case review carried out by police and Crown Prosecution Service would need to address why the defendants were not charged with arson. This would have carried a life sentence for all three due to the level of child death involved rather than two of the three killers getting an automatic cut to their tariffs from time served.
Killing your own children naturally rates as the top form of child abuse perpetrated by the Philpotts and their accomplice against their children. Sadly three years of coalition Government has not helped England tighten up its child death laws, there are so many ways to have the murder of a child labelled a different crime for a lower sentence and this needs to be addressed, along with judges’ general unwillingness to bother passing tough sentences. For the meantime, the eldest surviving son of Mick Philpott made his own comments to the media and the Daily Mirror ran that story here.