Sharkey fire deaths: Accused 'knew blaze was deliberate'
A man accused of the Sharkey family fire murders told police people in the area knew within hours the blaze was deliberate.
A text message sent by Robert Jennings said he hoped the person who caused the fire would be caught.
But the message was written before police knew the blaze was deliberate.
Mr Jennings, 50, and Scott Snowden, 37, deny murdering Thomas Sharkey Snr, 55, his son Thomas Jnr, 21, and his eight year-old sister Bridget in July 2011.
Asked by detectives to explain why he sent the text, Mr Jennings told them: "Everybody was talking about it right away."
The High Court in Glasgow heard from one of the officers who took the statement as excerpts were read to the jury.Something criminal
During the interview Det Con David Calder asked Mr Jennings: "Is the reason you knew it was criminal because it was you that done it?"
He replied: "No. It certainly wasn't me that done it."
End Quote Robert Jennings Murder accused
I wouldn't do something like that to weans”
Mr Jennings, who previously told the court Mr Sharkey Snr was nicknamed "T-bags" because he allegedly dealt £10 bags of amphetamine, added: "If it's something to do with T-bags you think it's going to be something criminal."
Det Con Calder said that at this point Mr Jennings was heard to laugh or snigger before he went on to tell police: "I don't like to think someone would think I done this. I wouldn't do something like that to weans."
Mr Jennings was then asked about a text he sent to his co-accused Mr Snowden around lunchtime on 24 July 2011, several hours after the blaze.
Det Con Calder said to him: "Was it to tell him you had murdered Tommy Sharkey and his family?"
Mr Jennings replied: "No. No."Changed phone
Det Con Calder asked: "Was it to tell him you were responsible for what happened to the Sharkey family?"
Mr Jennings said: "No. I'm certainly not responsible for it."
Asked why he had changed his mobile phone following the fire he said: "I dropped it down the toilet."
He denied that it was suspicious that he had changed the phone so soon after the murders.
Defence counsel Donald Findlay, representing Mr Snowden, asked Det Con Calder: "Phone records show that a phone sends a message to another phone, but you can't tell if it was received or even read?"
The officer said: "That's right."
Then Ian Duguid, QC, representing Mr Jennings, asked the detective: "You were saying he had knowledge it was a deliberate fire?"
The officer said: "At the time, the police and fire services wouldn't know it was suspicious until various investigations took place in the afternoon.."Possible vendetta
Mr Duguid went on: "You think he knows it is a deliberate fire before anyone else?"
Det Con Calder replied: "Certainly his statement tends to indicate he thought it was deliberate."
Mr Duguid told the jury a pub owned by Mr Sharkey Snr had been burned down in April 2010 and he had been stabbed by a relative months before the fatal fire.
The detective said it was "possible" there was a vendetta against Mr Sharkey but disagreed that anyone in Helensburgh would suspect the fire was deliberate.
Mr Snowden and Mr Jennings, 50, also deny a charge of attempting to murder Mr Sharkey's wife, Angela, 48, who survived the fire at the family home in in Scott Court, Helensburgh, Argyll, on 24 July 2011.
The trial before Lord Matthews continues.