Glasgow & West Scotland

Sharkey fire deaths: Witness wanted to 'do the right thing'

Thomas Sharkey Snr, Bridget and Thomas Jnr
Image caption Thomas Sharkey Snr, Bridget and Thomas Jnr died following the fire

A drug dealer sent a message to a woman who lost her family in a house fire, telling her that he was going to "do the right thing", a court has heard.

Lee McCarthy, 31, told the High Court in Glasgow that he sent the message to 48-year-old Angela Sharkey on Facebook to "try and get closure for her".

Mrs Sharkey survived the fire at her home in Helensburgh in July 2011.

Scott Snowden, 37, and Robert Jennings, 50, deny murdering her husband and two children by torching the house.

Thomas Sharkey, 21, and his eight-year-old sister Bridget, died in the blaze on 24 July 2011. Their father, Thomas Snr, 55, died in hospital days later.

Both accused also face a charge of attempting to murder Mrs Sharkey.

Police statements

Witness Mr McCarthy, a former drug dealer who said he bought cocaine from Mr Snowden, was giving evidence for a fourth day.

Image caption Angela Sharkey was the only family member to survive the fire

He has previously told the court that from conversations he had with the accused after the fire, he was able to establish that Mr Snowden was allegedly responsible.

On Thursday, he told the court that he sent the message to Mrs Sharkey on Facebook four months after the fatal fire.

He sent the message on the same day he made a police statement, one of many in the months after the fatal fire.

Cross-examining Mr McCarthy, Donald Findlay QC, representing Mr Snowden, asked him if his statement helped bring Mrs Sharkey closure.

Mr McCarthy replied: "No."

Mr Snowden and Mr Jennings face 22 charges between them, all of which they deny.

Both men have lodged special defences of incrimination and alibi, with Mr Snowden claiming he was in Mexico when the fire at the Sharkey home was allegedly started, while Mr Jennings claims he was home alone in Helensburgh.

The trial before judge Lord Matthews continues.

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