Notts woman tells Philpott fire deaths trial: 'Mick Philpott was a Jekyll and Hyde character'
A NOTTS woman, who is an ex-girlfriend of fire death-accused Mick Philpott told a court he was a "Jekyll and Hyde" character who would "lash out" if he didn't get his way.
Mother-of-two Heather Kehoe, Philpott's former partner, said he used to beat her when their second child, Aiden, was born a boy and not a girl.
Giving evidence at his trial for manslaughter of his six children in a house fire in Derby last May, Miss Kehoe told Nottingham Crown Court he pinned her down on the floor while she was pregnant.
Miss Kehoe explained how she met Philpott while she was still a 14-year-old schoolgirl and he was 37, at a fishing lake near her home in Rainworth.
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She told the court that within a year they had started a sexual relationship and at one time they were caught in the bedroom of the home he shared with his then wife Pamela Lomax.
He left their home and took Miss Keyhoe with him to Derby. By now she was 16 and had gone with Philpott against the wishes of her parents.
She said: "It was March 16, 1996. I remember the date because it is two weeks and two days after my 16th birthday."
By September of that year Miss Kehoe had fallen pregnant with their first child, Mikey.
Miss Kehoe said: "I felt very homesick. I told him I wanted to go home and he just flipped.
"He told me it wasn't happening. He put the fear of God into me. I felt I did not have any options (but to stay)."
Asked by Richard Latham QC, the prosecuting barrister, how her relationship was with Philpott, she said it was "like a whirlwind."
Miss Kehoe said: "Mick was a Jekyll and Hyde character. He knew what to say to make me feel special."
Mr Latham said: "What about when he was angry?"
Miss Kehoe said: "He would hit me. He had to have everything his own way. I soon learned what his own way was; he would lash out."
Miss Kehoe said that she was sent back out to work, as a cleaner at East Midlands Airport, just a month after Mikey was born, while Philpott stayed at home with the children.
In cross-examination, Anthony Orchard, Philpott's barrister said: "You have had a long time to build up a lot of resentment against Michael Philpott haven't you? This is your opportunity to vent your anger at him."
She replied: "No, this is an opportunity for justice."
Philpott and his wife Mairead are on trial for the manslaughter of the Philpotts' six children along with a third defendant, 46-year-old Paul Mosley.
Jade, 10, and her brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, Jayden, five, and Duwayne, 13, all died in a blaze which ripped through their home in Victory Road, Derby, as they slept in their beds in the early hours of May 11 last year.
All three defendants have denied the charges.