Mairead Philpott: Mother who killed six children in fire freed from jail
A mother who killed her six children in a fire has been freed from prison after serving just half of her 17-year sentence.
Mairead Philpott, 39, was jailed back in 2013 for the manslaughter of Jade Philpott, 10, and her brothers John, nine, Jack, seven, Jesse, six, Jayden five and Duwayne, who was 13.
They died in an arson attack she and her husband Mick planned at their Derby home in a bid to frame his former mistress.
He was jailed for life with a minimum term of 15 years after being branded a "disturbingly dangerous" man.
Family friend Paul Mosley was sentenced to 17 years over the deadly petrol-fuelled blaze that engulfed the semi-detached house.
Mairead Philpott has now walked free after serving only eight-and-a-half years behind bars.
She was released from HMP Send in Surrey on the first day she was eligible to be released on licence and taken by convoy to a halfway house, according to The Sun.
A source told the newspaper: "They launched a massive operation to make sure she was safe and not seen.
"Her convoy was like one given to a celebrity rather than a mum who killed her six children.
"Heaven knows how much it all cost, and it all seemed a bit much at a time of tight budgets."
After leaving the hostel Philpott will also be given a new identity for her protection.
Conservative MP for Mid Derbyshire Pauline Latham said she was seeking assurances that the child killer would not be permitted to return to the area.
"I am disgusted that this foul woman has her liberty while her daughter and five sons lie in their graves," she said in a statement.
"Eight-and-a-half years in jail amounts to her serving less than 18 months for each of those poor children. How can that possibly be right?
"Those in charge of making these decisions need to think longer and harder about the victims and the value of their lives.
"In addition, this horrible crime is still very raw in Derby and I fear what would happen if she turned up in the city.
"Therefore, I am seeking assurances that she will not be returning to the area."
The Centre for Crime Prevention described the release as "appalling" and called for killers to serve their full sentences for such crimes.
Its research director David Spencer said: "The system of automatically releasing criminals like her half way through their sentence means that in cases like this justice is not being done.
"This needs to change. For crimes like these, those convicted need to serve their full sentence."
Police had become suspicious of the Philpotts because of the pair's behaviour at press conferences, in which they both sobbed, following the 2012 blaze.
It emerged that Mick had been attempting to frame his ex-girlfriend, Lisa Willis, in revenge after she left with her five children.
The Philpotts also believed the fire would lead to them getting a bigger council house.
However, the subsequent trial heard "the plan went horribly wrong", leading to the deaths of the children.
Passing sentence in 2013, Mrs Justice Thirlwall said six young lives had been taken due to "callous selfishness".
Mairead later appealed against her sentence, but judges ruled the original term reflected the "immeasurable harm" she had caused.
Court of Appeal judges said petrol found on her clothes showed she had participated in setting the fire, which had not been a "spur-of-the-moment" plan.
She had also lied after her arrest, the judges said, and continued to hide the truth during her trial.
A spokesman for the Prison Service, which does not comment on an individual prisoner's release, said: "Offenders released on licence face strict conditions and can be returned to prison if they breach them." source sky news