That Philpotts' QC Defence to call him a "very good father" is shocking

(35 Posts)
OhLori Wed 03-Apr-13 18:01:31

Actually, beyond shocking.

Remotecontrolduck Thu 04-Apr-13 12:41:46

I can JUST about accept the good father bit... It's the condoning of the attempted murder and violence that I feel is just not somewhere you should go.

cantspel Thu 04-Apr-13 12:41:33

The kids probably were happy but then they knew no better as they were born into that set up.
They would see it perfectly normal to all be crammed together in a bedroom whilst daddy had a room with a nice big snooker table in it.
The neighbours say apart from taking the kids to school in the morning in his van Philpot never took them out and they were never seen out playing as they were kept in the house. This again would be normal to the children as it is now they had always lived.
Did he love his kids? Probably yes but his love was second to his own needs and wants. They would have been his possessions, his means of income and part of his status in the community.

TunipTheVegedude Thu 04-Apr-13 12:36:48

It is shocking, but I am not shocked at the QC IYSWIM, but that the bar can be considered so low for what counts as good fatherhood that the QC even felt it worth a try.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 04-Apr-13 12:31:18

YABU. The man is utterly stupid, violent, reckless, amoral & clearly had no grasp of consequences or any regard for human life ... but his kids seemed very happy and well cared-for by all accounts. Right up to the point where he killed them I think being 'a good Dad' was probably his solitary redeeming feature. His defence counsel will have been clutching at straws...

Remotecontrolduck Thu 04-Apr-13 12:26:16

I know a QC's job is to defend, but I truely believe this one crossed a line for me. A 'good father' he clearly is not, and as for condoning the fact he stabbed his ex girlfriend and her mother multiple times like it didn't even matter...I'm sorry, that just really isn't on.

BookieMonster Thu 04-Apr-13 11:31:42

Actually, what I found more shocking was the QC replying to the judge's comment that there had been domestic violence in every one of Philpott's re,ationships, "Yes, but not extreme violence." So a wee bit of violence is fine, then. hmm And double hmm given that his ex was stabbed 27 times and her mother 11.

TheBigJessie Thu 04-Apr-13 11:26:54

Like everyone else, I would say this is simply a QC doing their job- to defend.

In the local newspaper (of my town), I often read the reports on local criminal cases just to see the quotes from the local defence solicitor, because his indefatigability and ingenuity are inspiring! His clients are doomed to be convicted before he takes the case, but he always makes the effort to do his job.

AThingInYourLife Thu 04-Apr-13 10:23:54

Yeah, I have no quarrel with his QC at all.

But I feel bad for the guy having to scrape such an empty barrel.

If you had anything to work with you wouldn't be bringing up that the last time he tried to kill someone was a long time ago.

lolaflores Thu 04-Apr-13 08:55:35

True Nancy66. It also makes me wonder, that when all the neighbours said the kids were adorable and lovely, was that despite of their home life? children's resilience being an amazing commodity that allows some children to develop in horrid circumstances. Was this a case of benign neglect rather than the terrible conditions we have seen in other cases?
Watching Mairead in one part of a documentary discussing His plan to divorce her and marry Lisa, she commented
"Divorce is only for people who have affairs".
Despite the face of Lisa being pixallated it wasn't hard to imagine the slack jawed shock at such a willfully stupid comment.
They were all actors in a play directed by Him. The theme being, isn't it so bad that we are this naughty. Lisa a bridesmaid at their wedding and her ready to drop seemed to make them all laugh. That was the glue of the whole situation; all in it together, no one understands, they are jealous cos we are so happy......
The kind of shit talk used to keep people in line

sybilfaulty Thu 04-Apr-13 08:53:12

I find the pyjama thing a bit meaningless. If my DD2 falls asleep on the sofa, I put her into bed as she is rather than wake her. Similarly if DS wants to wear just a vest, then that goes too.

I would rather save my ire for all the other instances of neglect that befell those poor kids.

As a lawyer you do just state the facts. Your personal opinion is irrelevant and not what the court is interested in. The judge will have her own opinion as well but won't let that colour her sentence. From what I've read so far, she seems quite measured in her approach.

Nancy66 Thu 04-Apr-13 08:44:24

In this sort of environment anybody who didn't batter or sexually abuse their kids would probably be considered a 'good' father.

never mind that the children had no pyjamas, that they didn't wash, that they often went to bed hungry, that their parents were having gang bangs and taking drugs while they were in the house....

hey, they didn't beat or fuck their own kids - ergo they're good parents.

That will be the logic at play here

seeker Thu 04-Apr-13 08:22:07

Everybody has a right to be represented in a court of law. That's how the system works.

CelticPromise Thu 04-Apr-13 08:17:58

I'm a defence lawyer, not in any way as experienced as a QC. Sometimes you have to scrape the barrel. There is no eye rolling. You do the best you can, sometimes with nothing to work with! Your private opinion of the client is irrelevant.

I've never represented anyone who has done anything so abhorrent, but I used to work with a guy who had defended child killers. It's necessary that they have a decent defence lawyer because that's how the system works.

Yes the only reason it hadn't been repeated was that all around him were terrified of his temper & cowtowed to his dictatorship!

AThingInYourLife Thu 04-Apr-13 07:40:11

My favourite was when he said that Philpott's conviction for attempted murder was something that happened "ages ago" that had "never been repeated".

Um, except for when he killed six children to frame the most recent woman to flee from him hmm

I think the judge is taking her time over sentencing for the wife rather than the clearly manipulative evil husband.

I hope she gets some leniency for the appalling level of emotional abuse that reduced her to being able to stand by & collude with such madness.

Thank god the gf found it in her to get out & start a better life.

lolaflores Thu 04-Apr-13 07:18:55

I see your point. There are some hopeless cases that even the motions must be gone through with. Hope the judge could see the barrister crossing their fingers and shaking their head very slowly and rolling the eyes with it.
Philpott and co. got a very fair trial given the animosity out there and the judge taking her time to hand down a sentence that is based on reasoning rather than reaction. I am sure she is trying hard not to be influenced by the public reaction and her own instinctive reaction to this person. I am sure no one remains neutral meeting this man either before or after his crime, though knowing someone who lives in a fully modernised house doesn't wash for 12 weeks is flabbergasting and says alot about them and none of it nice. 12 weeks....what the fuck

sybilfaulty Wed 03-Apr-13 19:26:29

Even really abhorrent people have the right to representation and to a fair trial.

The QC will have presented the evidence of witnesses in as favourable way as possible. In some respects he may have been "good" / adequate. Sadly not in the ones which mattered most on the night.

The "rarely violent" may have just meant he wasn't being arrested every weekend for fighting in pubs / abusing his partners. It is all sadly a term of art.

janey68 Wed 03-Apr-13 19:19:05

Afaik the witness statements that he was a good father came from his wife and ex!

HesterShaw Wed 03-Apr-13 19:17:58

I could never be a defence lawyer. You have to defend people you know are no good.

thursday Wed 03-Apr-13 19:17:18

i agree it's just, sadly, what defence lawyers are supposed to do. i often wonder how that sits with your conscience, arguing the innocence of someone they believe or know to be guilty. but no one would ever get a fair trial without such lawyers.

phantomnamechanger Wed 03-Apr-13 19:15:30

how do they define "rarely" violent - as well as serving time for a viscious stabbing, he had a caution for slapping Mairead and dragging her out of the house by the hair - what kind of "good father" does that sort of thing to the mother of his children? What sorts of sexist and bullying behaviour did those children see? Friends and family say he did nothing for/with the DC, the mums did it all. he was neither a good father nor a good partner to any of his women/kids - he is a self serving sex obsessed scum bag. No doubt he was a good actor and capable of some degree of turning on the charm and having the appearance of being a "good" if unconventional family man, when it suited HIS goals.

carabos Wed 03-Apr-13 19:04:25

He also said that Philpott was "rarely violent" presumably because he just has the one conviction for attempted murder...

OnwardBound Wed 03-Apr-13 19:02:34

He probably was a 'good father' of sorts.

As lola commented, people are rarely so black or white. Villains are not instantly recognisable by their moustache and black cape.

By 'good father' I think the witnesses and QC meant he showed some demonstrable love for his children. He fed them, played games with them, built them a treehouse in the garden, changed a nappy on occasion.

Unfortunately Philpott was also an entirely self absorbed and selfish character who believed he should be able to get whatever it was he wanted.

It was this side of him that came to the fore when he decided to frame his ex partner for arson/attempted murder.

The poor children and their wellbeing never entered his mind at this point. They were less than an afterthought, they were just never a consideration in his diabolical scheme.

I'm not even so sure he is so devastated to have lost them as individuals in their own right iyswim. It is more what they represented to him, his virility, his brood of mini-me's, status as a 'father'.

So not a 'good father' in any deep or meaningful way but perhaps good enough in a practical day-to-day sense?

janey68 Wed 03-Apr-13 19:00:38

Oh absolutely - I don;t think anyone is suggesting for a moment that Philpott and his wife are anything other than scum, and should receive very long prison sentences.

I was just making the point that it isn't that shocking that defence QC do their job - ie: use evidence from witness statements. I am not naive enough to think for a minute that their QCs really do think they are good parents

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