Helensburgh fire accused ‘wanted pub burned down’

Fire survivor Angela Sharkey, pictured with husband Thomas, who died along with the couple's children. Picture: PA
Fire survivor Angela Sharkey, pictured with husband Thomas, who died along with the couple's children. Picture: PA
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A MAN accused of murdering a father and his two children in a deliberate blaze told his co-accused he wanted a pub to be burned down, a court has heard.

Scott Snowden was said to be “a bit fuming” after being barred from the Mariners pub in Helensburgh, Argyll, and told Robert Jennings: “You know what to do,” jurors heard.

Bridget Sharkey and brother Thomas Jnr. Picture: PA

Bridget Sharkey and brother Thomas Jnr. Picture: PA

The High Court in Glasgow has heard how the Mariners was linked to Thomas Sharkey snr who died in hospital following a fire at his home in 2011.

His children, Thomas Sharkey jnr, 21, and eight-year-old Bridget, died in the fire at their home in Helensburgh in the early hours of Sunday, 24 July that year.

Snowden, 37, and Jennings, 50, deny murdering the three members of the family by pouring petrol, or something similar, through their letterbox and setting fire to it.

The court has already heard that Mr Sharkey planned to renovate and run the Mariners pub but it was burnt down weeks before it was due to open.

Witness Lee McCarthy, 31, recalled being at Jennings’ home days before the Mariners fire on 19 April, 2010.

During the visit Snowden arrived at the house. Asked how Snowden was, the witness said: “He was a bit fuming really …He said that he was barred from Mariners.”

The name of another man, Mr May, came up in the conversation before Snowden addressed Jennings, the witness said.

“He said to Mr Jennings, ‘You know what to do’,” the witness told the court.

Asked to expand on that, Mr McCarthy replied: “(He) just basically said he wanted it burnt down.”

The trial before judge Lord Matthews, which is expected to last between eight and ten weeks, continues.