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Thursday, May 31, 2012

British parents charged with murder

Surely there must be some mistake.  The parents of six children who died in a house fire in the UK have been charged with their murder.  Mick Philpott and his wife Mairead were arrested yesterday and will appear in court today.  Four boys and one girl died in the fire and the eldest boy 13, died when his life support was turned off.  At a press conference they thanked those who tried to save their children and were understandably distraught, then out of the blue, they are charged with murder.

The charges were confirmed last night by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) who said "The evidence was reviewed by a Crown Advocate from the CPS who decided that there was sufficient evidence to charge and that it is in the public interest for a prosecution to take place."  He went on "It is important to note that the defendants are entitled to a fair trial and nothing should be said or reported that would prejudice that right."

But it's already happened, the family is already compromised by a single piece of information that has turned people against the couple.  Even though Mr Philpott was hailed as a hero by neighbours for his valiant efforts to rescue his children, he has a reputation.  In 2007 he was known as "Shameless Mick" when he demanded a larger council house for his family and it was discovered that he had fathered 17 children by five women.

It's true, we shouldn't jump to conclusions about this case but human nature being what it is, everyone has an opinion.  But finding a jury who haven't formed an opinion about Mr Philpott's character wont be easy.

The case continues.