Monster mum Mairead Philpott enjoys a shopping trip after serving half her sentence for fire that killed her six kids

MONSTER mum Mairead Philpott enjoys a shopping binge as she settles back into a life of freedom.

And the bloated beast, 39, showed off her new dark-haired look as she bundled bags of goodies and wrapping paper into the back of a waiting car.

Philpott was freed in December after serving half of her 17-year manslaughter jail term for her role in a 2012 blaze that killed her six kids, aged five to 13.

But our exclusive photos show she still sports a tattooed tribute to five-year-old Jayden – who she dubbed her "miracle baby" in court because he was born six weeks premature.

Philpott was joined by two pals as she left her bail hostel on Monday in Ugg-style boots, leopard print trousers and an ill-fitting khaki t-shirt.

She wore a navy blue face mask but let her lank black locks hang down – a world away from her previous flame-haired do.

A source said: "She is being eased back into life in the community.

"If she continues to comply with her probation requirements she will be able to slip back into life somewhere largely undetected.

"She's very much hoping for a fresh start."

Philpott's comfy hostel in the South offers yoga and art classes and staff handed her a hamper stuffed with goodies at Christmas.

It is a far cry from the days after her children's deaths, when she shed "crocodile tears" at a press conference to plead for the public's help to catch the killers.

Back then, she and evil hubby Mick, 64, were treated as victims after the horrific blaze.

Children Jade, ten John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, and Jayden all died in the fire on the morning of May 11.

Neighbours had 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 strange behaviour at the press conference sparked suspicion.

Cops later bugged the hotel room the Philpotts were given after their fire.

It emerged that Mick Philpott started 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 land them 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 said the plot was "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.

Mick is not due for parole until at least 2027. 

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