Fire deaths monster Mairead Philpott is living less than a mile from another hated mother – kidnap faker Karen Matthews.
Philpott, 40, has dyed her hair blonde and taken to wearing camouflage gear.
At first glance, neighbours would probably not recognise her as the woman who served eight-and-a-half years for her part in a blaze which killed her six children in 2012.
Her flat is barely a six-minute stroll from the home of Matthews, 46, who in 2008 faked the kidnap of her daughter Shannon for reward money.
The unlikely near neighbours reside in a town in the South East of England.
A source said: “It’s bizarre that Matthews and Philpott have both settled so close to each other. “
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“And Mairead is desperately trying to change her look, even wearing camo gear.
“She’ll need to do more than that to conceal her past.”
Philpott, ex-husband Mick, 65, and a neighbour were jailed in 2013 for torching the couple’s Derby council home in an apparent bid to get a bigger one.
But they failed to rescue their kids from the inferno. Duwayne, 13, Jade, 10, John, nine, Jack, seven, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five, all died from smoke inhalation.
Initially the couple received an outpouring of sympathy and wept at a press conference as they appealed for help to find the killer or killers.
But a court heard Mairead helped start the fire – and she was jailed for 17 years for manslaughter. Her husband got life.
Mairead was released from HMP Send, in Surrey, last November – the first day she was eligible to go free on licence.
She was taken to a halfway house but has since relocated to the flat, one of four within a terraced home.
Days ago, she left the home in a black face mask, black cap and large black sunglasses.
Philpott walked off quickly and would not stop to answer questions about her past – or the fact Matthews lived nearby.
Philpott’s story has chilling echoes of Matthews, who drugged and abducted her nine-year-old daughter Shannon in a bid to claim a £50,000 search reward.
The public rallied to support her as she broke down in tears on TV and begged for Shannon’s safe return.
But, with accomplice Michael Donovan, she had devised an elaborate plot to release the schoolgirl, “discover her” then take her to a police station in Dewsbury, West Yorks.
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In December 2008, mum-of-seven Matthews and Donovan, 52, were convicted on charges of kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting justice.
Both were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court to eight years but served just half of their time and were released in 2012.
Matthews’ story was dramatised in BBC1 hit The Moorside in 2017, in which Sheridan Smith played a friend of Karen’s.
Last year it was reported Matthews was engaged to a convicted paedophile and planning a family, using a surrogate mum.
A source said of Philpott and Matthews: “Their stories are similar in that both tried to con the public into believing they were victims. Now they’re just around the corner from each other. It’s very strange.