Two on trial for Sharkey family house fire murder

The flat  in Scott Court where the fire occurred. Picture: Milligan/PA Wire
The flat in Scott Court where the fire occurred. Picture: Milligan/PA Wire
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A WOMAN giving evidence in court has relived the hours before a blaze at her home that killed her husband and two children.

Angela Sharkey yesterday told prosecutor Alex Prentice QC that the day before the fire was “just a normal Saturday for me”.

She was giving evidence at the trial of Scott Snowden, 37, and Robert Jennings, 50.

They deny murdering her husband Thomas Sharkey, 55; her son, 21-year-old Thomas

junior; and her daughter Bridget, eight, at their home at Helensburgh in July 2011.

Mrs Sharkey, 48, told the jury that, the day before the fatal

fire, Thomas Jnr played in a golf tournament at Helensburgh Golf Club.

The court heard that Bridget went to a friend’s house that afternoon before being driven back home by the girl’s father.

Mrs Sharkey said her husband had been out at his local pub, the Ashton, in Helensburgh, that night.

She added: “Everybody went to bed early, as young Thomas had another [golf] competition and Bridget was going to a farm with a friend.”

Earlier, Mr Prentice asked

her what she had been doing that Saturday and Mrs Sharkey replied: “It was a lovely day. I was sitting outside. It was just a normal Saturday for me.”

Mrs Sharkey, who is a clerical assistant and lives in the Helensburgh area, was shown a picture taken on a family holiday.

The photograph, which was put on screens in the court, showed all four looking relaxed and happy.

At the time of his death, Mr Sharkey was working for a cleaning company, but before that he had been restoring a derelict pub in Helensburgh called the Mariners.

He planned to run it as a business, but just weeks before it was ready to open, it was destroyed by fire.

In evidence, Mrs Sharkey said: “It was burnt to the ground. It was a few weeks off being open.”

Snowden and Jennings deny setting fire to the Mariners in April 2010.

The jury heard that Mr Sharkey was jailed for four years for drug offences and released in 1995.

His widow told the court that he had a son from a previous relationship, Richard Sharkey, with whom he did not get on. She added that Mr Sharkey also did not get on with his cousin, Mark Sharkey.

Mr Prentice asked Mrs Sharkey: “Was there an incident on 6 February 2011 involving Mark Sharkey and your husband?” She replied: “Yes.”

The prosecutor then went on: “It resulted in Mark Sharkey stabbing your husband, Thomas Sharkey, didn’t it?” She replied: “Yes, I was in the house.”

She was asked if her husband was badly injured and replied: “Yes he was. He had a huge

hole in his back and had to go to hospital.”

The court heard that after that alleged incident, she saw Mark Sharkey outside their home with another man who her husband said was Snowden.

Snowden and Jennings deny all the charges against them. They have lodged special defences of alibi and incrimination.

Two of the men named as incriminees are Richard Sharkey and Mark Sharkey.

The trial before Lord Matthews continues.