‘How can you live with yourself?’ mother asks her family’s killer
“It doesn’t really matter who has done it and why they’ve done it because everything I love is gone,” she said.
“But I would hate, and I keep repeating this, I would hate for anyone else to go through this because it’s not right – innocent children.
“If it stops this person then it won’t happen again, and that is important to me because I’ve just got to try and get on with my life without them.”
She added: “Just do the decent thing, because the next thing you know it could be coming through your door.”
For the Sharkey family it had been a “normal” night. Bridget had been at a friend’s house for a sleepover but, at 10pm, fatefully decided she wanted to come home.
“My son was at home and he ran down the stairs and got Bridget from my friend’s car,” Mrs Sharkey said.
“She came upstairs and (I) put her to bed because she was going out early in the morning to a birthday thing.
“Young Thomas went to bed because he was golfing in the morning. Bridget was in bed and I went to bed. My husband was across at the local pub for a pint. And it was just a normal night.”
But 5:10 the next morning emergency services were called to a blaze in the home. When they arrived Thomas jnr was already dead.
The rest of the family were taken by ambulance to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, Renfrewshire.
Mrs Sharkey recalled the exact moment when she finally accepted that her children had been murdered.
“I just kept saying to my sister don’t be silly and I think it was Valerie, my sister-in-law’s face one day that I thought this is true.
“It was the way she looked at me, I thought no, this is right. That’s when the penny dropped.”
She has received hundreds of letters about the children, including one from one of Bridget’s former teachers, that she has come to cherish.
“I got hundreds of letters, but the teacher’s one just sums her up because other kids related to her. They responded really well.
“I don’t know what it was about her, she was just brilliant, everybody thinks their kids are brilliant and she was brilliant.”
Thomas jnr, who had high hopes of becoming a professional golfer after picking up a most improved player award, had promised he would look after his mother in her old age.
Mrs Sharkey said: “He loved his golf, he was doing really brilliantly, and I’ll never know how well he could have done because he was going for it.
“He only ever wanted to be a golfer from when he was a wee boy and that was all he ever did as a teen, he never went out and did all the usual teenage stuff. I’ll never know whether he would have made it or not and it’s not fair on him, because he was full of confidence he was going to make it.
“(He said:) ‘You don’t need to worry about when you are old mum, I’m going to take care of you.’
“My boy was brilliant and I just doted on him and he’s gone – it’s not right. He was just the best son anyone could have and I can’t believe it.”
When asked about losing her husband, she replied: “I’m not even there yet. I’m missing the kids because I was always with the kids. I have not even started to think about that to be honest. But it’s going to be hard.”
However, she is determined to be brave and is grateful for the support she has received.
“My family are brilliant and I’ve got really good friends.
“I’ve got two options – I keep repeating this as well – I can either lie down and fall to bits, which isn’t me. I am a coper, or I can just try and get on with it.
“I am not going to lie down because I haven’t done anything wrong and, as far as I know, Tommy had never done anything wrong to deserve this.”
In a final message to the killer of her family, she added: “How can you live with yourself, that’s all I can say.
“Because everybody has family and children. I love children and now I have no children.”
Police are looking to trace two men. One in his 20s who was seen in West Princes Street, and another in his 20s or 30s, who was in John Street.
Both were spotted around the time of the fire and police believe they possess “critical” information.
A team of 70 officers is working on the investigation and detectives have also searched CCTV from the area. However, Detective Superintendent Peter McPike, who is leading the investigation, believes people in the area are still holding information back.
“I think perhaps the most obvious reason would be misplaced loyalty,” he said.
“Although, quite frankly, how someone could have misplaced loyalty when we are dealing with the murder of an eight-year-old child and a 21-year-old man, who had the prospect of a terrific golfing career in front of him.
“Let’s not forget, we believe that this was a targeted attack. Someone will know something about why it happened.”
Police have looked into Thomas senior’s business dealings to see if someone who bore him a grudge could be behind the murders.
“Clearly one of those lines of the investigation will be to look at Thomas Sharkey’s business, his friends and associates,” Det Supt McPike said.
“Now, regardless of whether or not we ultimately establish that somewhere in Mr Sharkey’s past lies the motive for this attack, we’ve seen Angela, we’ve seen how devastated she is.
“We’ve seen that she has lost a husband, and an eight-year-old daughter and 21-year-old son.
“Misplaced loyalty surely can’t come into it. Someone must know something about what happened on that night in question.”