Woman denies setting fire that killed 6

March 18, 2013 at 5:55 PM

DERBY, England, March 18 (UPI) -- A woman accused of killing her six children in a Derby, England, house fire denied starting the fire in court Monday.

Mairead Philpott, 31, is on trial for manslaughter with her husband Michael Philpott, 56, and a third defendant, Paul Mosley. They are accused of starting a fire at the couple's home in May 2012 to frame Philpott's former mistress, Lisa Willis, who lived in the home for 10 years with the family until February 2012, the British newspaper The Mirror reported.

In Nottingham Crown Court, Mairead Philpott denied starting, or seeing anyone start, the fire, but admitted she agreed to her husband's relationship with Willis to avoid losing what she had.

She referred to her husband as a "guardian angel," whom she met as a 19-year-old single mother at "rock bottom," the newspaper said.

Five of the children, ages 5 to 10, perished in the fire, and a sixth, 13, died days later in a hospital.

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