by Sam Swerling.
Michael Philpott’s appalling and criminal behaviour needs no further discussion except in one respect. How is it that he came to be charged with the lesser crime of manslaughter rather than murder, which was the charge originally brought by the prosecuting authorities?
It is argued that Philpott lacked the intention to kill his six children and that he, his wife and accomplice Paul Mosley would rush into the house after the arson and rescue them.
He may not have had a specific, defined intention to kill but there is another type of intention which is part of the criminal law and rests on common sense. It is that a person who engages in a reckless action, such that the natural consequence of their action is to bring about death must be presumed to have intended such consequences. Philpott must have known that his children could die in such a dangerous venture.
The BDP’s position is quite clear; that at the very least a wide-ranging and informed debate needs to take place abour reintroducing the death penalty if not for all murders then for some, perhaps on the lines of the Homicide Act of 1957, where six categories of killing carried the death penalty (until abolished in 1965.)
My feeling is that Philpott and co deserved to hang!