The release of Mairead Philpott, 39, has sparked fury — with crime prevention campaigners saying: “Justice has not been done.”
Twisted Philpott was freed from HMP Send in Surrey on the first day she was eligible to be released on licence.
A source said: “They launched a massive operation to make sure she was safe and not seen.
“Her convoy was like one given to a celebrity rather than a mum who killed her six children.
“Heaven knows how much it all cost, and it all seemed a bit much at a time of tight budgets.”
Philpott was driven in an Audi Q3 as part of a convoy to a halfway house.
She was escorted by plain-clothes police as she was ushered into a 20-bed hostel.
The killer had a yellow parka-style jacket’s hood pulled over her head and was wearing a mask and clutching official paperwork.
Hostel staff and cops carried in her belongings, including in a see-through prison bag containing toiletries, slippers and clothes.
Philpott, who was a practising witch while behind bars, was helped in sneaking into the building without her face being seen.
She is due to stay at the hostel for three months — before being freed under a new name. She has a 7pm to 7am curfew.
An elderly woman at the halfway house has Covid, and was seen yesterday by paramedics, sources said.
Philpott was tested for the disease before her switch there.
She is set to be assigned an offender supervisor and manager.
And she will be offered counselling, life coaching — and yoga and therapy sessions — before being helped to find new accommodation.
Taxpayers must now fork out tens of thousands to protect her under a fresh identity.
Philpott’s kids died in an arson attack she and husband Mick plotted at their Derby home in 2012.
She tasted freedom yesterday after serving only 8½ years for manslaughter.
Last night David Spencer, of the Centre for Crime Prevention, said: “It makes an absolute mockery of the UK’s criminal justice system. Justice has not been done.
“Child killers like Mairead Philpott should not be free to roam the streets.
“She has served barely more than a year for each of the six innocent lives she callously took away.
“She is back on the streets while the taxpayer coughs up for her to get a new identity, protection, counselling and a place to live.
“The Home Secretary has promised a review of sentencing. This needs to be delivered urgently to ensure killers like Philpott serve the long sentences their horrific crimes deserve.”
Last night, Philpott’s mother Vera, 62 — who has cut contact with Mairead — said she was appalled her daughter had been released so early.
Speaking at her home in Derby — less than a mile from where her grandchildren died — she said: “I don’t want her near my door.
“The sentence is not nearly long enough and we disown her after what she’s done.”
Philpott was transferred to Send prison for the last month of her jail spell to help prepare her for life on the outside.
Our source added: “Philpott was not popular inside and she got a hard time because her crime was so sickening.
“That is likely to happen while she is in the hostel as well though.”
We revealed last month how the killer mum was set to be released on licence halfway through her term.
In the wake of her children’s deaths, she had shed “crocodile tears” when she appeared at a press conference to plead for the public’s help to catch the killers.
She and Mick were initially met with an outpouring of sympathy after the horrific blaze.
Children Jade, ten John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five, died in the fire on the morning of May 11.
Neighbours made valiant attempts to save them.
Mairead’s son from a previous relationship, 13-year-old Duwayne — considered his own by Mick — died three days later in hospital
.But the couple’s behaviour at the press conference aroused suspicion and cops bugged the hotel room the Philpotts were given after their fire.
It emerged that Mick Philpott initiated the arson plot — hoping to frame an ex-girlfriend for the fire after “rescuing” the children.
She had left him weeks earlier — having lived in the same house as him and Mairead — and taken her children with her.
He was angry with her and wanted revenge.
The Philpotts also thought the blaze would result in them getting a bigger council house.
But their plan went tragically wrong as the three-bed council home was engulfed and Mick was beaten back by flames, leaving the children to perish.
He was jailed with his wife and their accomplice Paul Mosley, 53, in April 2013 for plotting the blaze.
The couple had shared a sordid threesome with their friend before the fire.
Days later — in a police surveillance operation — Mosley was taped receiving a sex act from Mairead, who hoped to keep him “onside”.
At Nottingham crown court, Mrs Justice Thirwall handed both Mairead Philpott and Mosley sentences of 17 years — and said they must serve at least half.
She gave father-of-17 Mick — already notorious for living on benefits and boasting about having two live-in lovers on TV — a life term with a 15-year minimum tariff.
The judge told Mairead: “You were prepared to go to any lengths to keep him happy.
You put Michael Philpott above your children and as a result they have died.”
The judge described the plot as “a wicked and dangerous plan” and described it as a “uniquely grave set of offences”.
Five years before the arson, Mick Philpott appeared on ITV’s The Jeremy Kyle Show, where he bragged about having 15 kids with five different women.
Mairead Philpott — divorced Mick while in jail — was allowed to write sexually-charged letters to men from behind bars.
In one she told a “boyfriend” she wanted to have more children with him when she was released.
She told her penpal he would be a “fantastic Dad”. Sickeningly, she added: “I hope you have a high sex drive because it won’t be me begging to stop.”
Locals in Derby reacted angrily yesterday to news of her release.
One former neighbour, a man who had known the Philpott family socially, said: ‘It is too short a time for her to be coming out.
“The justice system is completely wrong. If you had attended the funeral and saw those little caskets, it was heart wrenching.
A Prison Service spokesman said: “Offenders released on licence face strict conditions and can be returned to prison if they breach them.”