Glasgow & West Scotland

Clutha crash: Bar break-in teenagers detained for six months

Clutha bar Image copyright AP
Image caption A total of 10 people died in the Clutha crash

Two teenagers have been detained for stealing alcohol and cash from the Clutha bar in Glasgow, just weeks after 10 people died in a helicopter crash.

Jordan Parry, 16, and Darren Melrose, 18, will serve six months for raiding the crash site on 17 December 2013.

Charmaine Holmes, 17, who also pleaded guilty to the break-in, was given an 18-month community payback order.

They were caught after being seen by a man who was paying his respects to a friend who died in the crash.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Sheriff Joseph Platt said the two males would have been sentenced to nine months if it was not for their guilty pleas.

He said: "The Crown has stated that the sum of cashed involved is £171.

'Feelings of disgust'

"While that is not a particularly large amount it was nonetheless money which was taken from donations presumably by customers of the pub to charitable causes.

"That it itself makes the theft more serious."

The sheriff added: "The offence occurred less than three weeks after the public house in question was the site of a serious accident in which 10 people lost their lives.

"Accordingly, that you saw fit to commit this offence will have led, no doubt, to feelings of disgust amongst members of the public, and that term will go nowhere near the emotions felt by those who lost loved ones or friends in the incident."

Image caption (Top: left to right) David Traill; Pc Kirsty Nelis; Pc Tony Collins; Gary Arthur; Samuel McGhee (Bottom: left to right) Colin Gibson; Robert Jenkins; Mark O'Prey; John McGarrigle; Joe Cusker

Sheriff Platt said Holmes would be supervised for the duration of her community payback order.

A previous hearing was told how three trio were spotted hanging around the pub by Edward Kirkland at about 02:20 on 17 December.

He was standing near flowers at the edge of the Clydeside while paying respects to a friend who died in the helicopter crash on 29 November.

Mr Kirkland walked to the Euro Hostel on Clyde Street and contacted the police.

Charity tins

CCTV operators were alerted and they observed the group gaining access to the pub and then leaving with carrier bags.

They were then spotted on CCTV heading along the River Clyde.

The court heard how the group could be heard smashing charity tins off the pavement and throwing parts of the tins into the River Clyde.

Police officers saw piles of coins from the tins on the ground along with bottles of alcohol.

After detaining Parry, Melrose and Holmes, officers went to the Clutha bar and saw that the building was not secure and bottles of alcohol were strewn around inside the entrance to the pub.

Engine failure

The court heard £171 had been taken from three charity tins and a quantity of alcohol had been stolen.

All three pleaded guilty to breaking into the pub, while acting with another.

The Police Scotland Eurocopter EC 135 came down on the Clutha bar at about 22:25 on Friday 29 November.

All three people on board and seven others in the pub were killed.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch has said the aircraft suffered a double engine failure.

A report issued on 14 February said both engines "flamed out" but it did not pinpoint the cause. Some commentators have suggested a problem with the fuel supply.