ONE of the men accused of murdering three members of the Sharkey family was in Mexico when the fatal fire took place, a court was told yesterday.
The High Court in Glasgow heard that Scott Snowden was on a two-week holiday with his wife Gillian when Tommy Sharkey, senior, 55, his son Thomas Sharkey junior, 21 and daughter Bridget Sharkey, eight, all died.
The fire occured at the Sharkey family home in Scott Court, Helensburgh, around 5pm on 24 July, 2011.
Snowden and his wife returned to Glasgow Airport the following day at 6am.
The defence case for Snowden opened with a joint minute of agreed facts being read to the jury. The jurors heard that Snowden was not in the Helensburgh area when four fires – including the fatal fire – took place and that he was at work miles away when a man was slashed.
When the Mariner’s pub, owned by Tommy Sharkey senior, went on fire on 19 April, 2010 Snowden was staying at the Airth Castle Hotel with his wife.
And he was staying at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow, on 19 June, 2009 when the Garth Inn in Helensburgh, went on fire, and at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Liverpool on 6 September, 2009, when a house in Rhu called the Steeple was set on fire.
The court heard that when 58-year-old Richard McKinney, was slashed in the driveway of his home in Luss Road, Alexandria, on 20 January, 2010, Snowden was working at Rhu Marina.
Witness David Prophet, 27, from Helensburgh, told Donald Findlay QC, defending Snowden, that Snowden, who is a friend, and Lee McCarthy were in his home just weeks after the fire.
He was asked if Mr Hughes said anything and replied: “He said he had set a fire at a house in Rhu for Mr Snowden.”
Mr Findlay asked: “What was Mr Snowden’s reaction,” and Mr Prophet replied: “Mr Snowden was pissed off.”
Mr Prophet was giving evidence at the trial of Scott Snowden, 37, and Robert Jennings, 50, who deny murder.
The trial, before Lord Matthews, continues.