Couple barred from children's funeral

June 14, 2012 at 1:00 AM
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DERBY, England, June 13 (UPI) -- The English couple charged with killing their six children in a fire will not attend the funeral, the priest who will preside over the service said Wednesday.

A requiem mass is scheduled June 22 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Derby, The Daily Telegraph reported. It will be followed by a private burial.

Mick and Mairead Philpott have been in jail since their arrest in late May, about two weeks after the fire. The Rev. Alan Burbidge said he had been given official confirmation they will not be at the service.

If the Philpotts had been given compassionate leave, each would have been handcuffed to a guard, The Sun reported.

"It's the right decision. People are innocent until proven guilty but some might easily have lost their heads -- Mick and Mairead could have been lynched," a neighbor told the Sun. "The police would have had a hell of a job to keep order. Those poor kids deserve a decent burial without any [aggravation]."

Jade Philpott, 10, and her brothers, John, 9, Jack, 7, Jessie, 6, and Jayden, 5, were killed in the fire. Another brother, Duwayne, 13, died in hospital.

Volunteers raised thousands of pounds to pay for the service and burials.

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