A woman convicted of the manslaughter of her six children in a horrific house fire has been spotted enjoying a shopping trip.
Mairead Philpott needed help stuffing a grey Peugeot full of items – including wrapping paper – as she left a bail hostel in the south of England.
The 39-year-old was sporting a new darker hair colour following her release from prison in November after half her 17-year sentence.
She was jailed over a 2012 fire in Allenton, Derby, that killed Duwayne Philpott, 13, his sister Jade, 10, and brothers Jack, nine, John, eight, Jesse, six and Jayden, five.
Her husband Mick led her and their friend Mosely in a scheme to get a bigger council house by burning down the home and framing ex-lover Lisa Willis.
His intention was to rescue the sleeping children through an upstairs window but it went disastrously wrong and the youngsters all died from smoke inhalation.
Mairead Philpott left the facility where she has been staying since her release from prison in January
She was helped by staff to stuff shopping bags into her car and was sporting a new, darker hair colour
The 39-year-old has to keep her ankle tag on while she is on licence
Last month it emerged the killer jailed alongside the couple for the manslaughter of his six children was set to be released from prison halfway through his sentence. Pictured: Mairead today
The couple’s six children – Duwayne, 13, Jade, 10, John, nine, Jack, seven, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five – died from smoke inhalation as a result of the blaze
Philpott, along with husband Mick and friend Paul Mosley, burnt down the family’s three-bedroom council house in 2012 in a bid to get a bigger home
Pictures taken today show Mairead still has a tattoo to Jayden, who she called ‘miracle baby’ during her trial because he came six weeks premature.
Two of her friends helped her as she left the hostel – which is said to offer yoga and arts classes – in boots, leopard-style trousers and an oversized t-shirt.
She covered her face with a blue mask but her new hair was on show and struck a stark change from her former red locks.
A source told the Sun: ‘She is being eased back into life in the community.
‘If she continues to comply with her probation requirements she will be able to slip back into life somewhere largely undetected. She’s very much hoping for a fresh start.’
Mairead was said to be ‘delighted’ at being given her earliest possible release date from HMP Send in Surrey in November.
She was due to stay at the hostel for three months before being freed under a new name. She had a 7pm to 7am curfew.
Pictures taken today show Mairead still has a tattoo to Jayden, who she called ‘miracle baby’ during her trial because he came six weeks early
Two of her friends helped her as she left the hostel in boots, leopard-style trousers and an oversized t-shirt
She covered her face with a blue mask but her new hair was on show and struck a stark change from her former red locks
Duwayne Philpott, 13, died in a special burns unit in Birmingham. Family liaison officers had to persuade Mick to go visit his dying son
Jess Philpott, six, left, and Jayden Philpott, five, were the two youngest of the Philpott children to die in the fire
News of her release was slammed by the Centre For Crime Prevention think-tank, which said in November: ‘This is not justice.’
The taxpayer covered the thousands of pounds worth of costs for her to stay in the hostel with a new identity.
Initially the couple received an outpouring of sympathy, and wept at a press conference as they appealed for help to find the culprits.
But their behaviour later aroused suspicions and the pair were subsequently charged alongside Mosely.
At Mick’s sentencing, the judge described the plot as ‘a wicked and dangerous plan’ that was ‘outside the comprehension of any right-thinking person’.
News of her release was slammed by the Centre For Crime Prevention think-tank, which said: ‘This is not justice.’ She is pictured today
A new Channel 5 documentary looks into the five mistakes that led to the arrest of Mairead and Mick Philpott. Mick was sentenced to life in prison and Mairead got 17 years, along with accomplice Paul Mosley after the sick trio set fire to the couple’s Derby house where their six children, aged 13 to five, were sleeping. Five children died of smoke inhalation at the scene, and one died in hospital from the injuries he sustained in the blaze
Mairead and Mick roused the suspicions of journalists and investigators with their ‘crocodile tears during a press conference about the blaze in May 2012
Paul Mosley, 54, was jailed for 17 years in 2013 for the manslaughter of six innocent children
The horrific scene inside the property where the fire was started and killed six children
She said there was ‘no precedent’ for the case, describing it as a ‘uniquely grave set of offences’.
The Philpotts and Mosely were found guilty of manslaughter. Mick was sentenced to life in prison and Mairead and Mosely to 17 years. The killer couple later divorced.
The father-of-seventeen, who married Mairead in 2003, used his children to rake in an astonishing £60,000 a year in benefits.
Mick, who had previously been jailed for stabbing his schoolgirl lover 27 times, wove a web of lies trying to get away with the crime.
He even plotted to ‘get rich quick’ off generous donations from the local community meant to pay for the funerals of his children.
David Spencer at the Centre for Crime Prevention said in November: ‘It makes an absolute mockery of the UK’s criminal justice system.
‘She has served barely more than a year for each of the six innocent lives she callously took away.’
The Philpotts’ devious plan to frame an ex for killing their kids
The Philpotts married in 2003 and shared a cramped three-bedroom council house in Derby with his lover Lisa Willis and their children.
Philpott led his wife and accomplice Mosley into a scheme to get a bigger council house by burning down his home and framing Ms Willis for the crime after she walked out on him.
He also hoped to win back custody of his five children who had recently moved out of the home.
His intention was to rescue the sleeping children through an upstairs window but the plan went disastrously wrong after too much petrol was used and the fire burned out of control.
The blaze claimed the lives of Duwayne, 13, Jade, 10, John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six and Jayden, five.
Philpott, who had previously been jailed for stabbing his schoolgirl lover 27 times, wove a web of lies trying to get away with the crime and even plotted to ‘get rich quick’ off generous donations from the local community meant to pay for the funerals of his children.
In the days that followed the fire, Philpott began his elaborate ruse to appear blameless and even appeared at a press conference appealing for information.
During a fortnight of surveillance at the hotel where they were put up by police in May after the fire, the couple were heard whispering about the case, with Philpott recorded telling his wife to ‘stick to your story’.
They were charged by police on May 30 in connection with the deaths and Mosley was arrested in the months afterwards, having told a friend the plan had been for him to rescue the children.
Police initially charged the trio with murder but downgraded this to manslaughter because while their actions were sickeningly reckless, the defendants had not intended to kill the six.
However, he was found guilty of the horrific crime at a trial in April and sentenced to life behind bars.
The judge described the plot as ‘a wicked and dangerous plan’ that was ‘outside the comprehension of any right-thinking person’.