Glasgow & West Scotland

New appeal over Helensburgh Sharkey family fire murders

Bridget and Thomas Sharkey
Image caption Bridget and Thomas Sharkey both died on the day of the fire

Police investigating the murders of three family members in a deliberate house fire in Helensburgh have issued a fresh appeal for information.

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

The children's mother, 46-year-old Angela Sharkey, is still in hospital.

Police said previous appeals and the offer of a £10,000 reward had so far failed to generate significant leads.

The fire at the Sharkey family home in Helensburgh's Scott Court broke out at about 05:00 on 24 July.

Thomas Sharkey Jnr died in the blaze, while his sister Bridget died later in hospital.

Mr Sharkey was seriously injured and died in hospital on Saturday.

'Innocent child'

The inquiry team wants to speak to anyone who was out and about in the Helensburgh area between 03:00 and 06:00 on 24 July.

Det Sup Peter McPike, who is leading the investigation, said: "The answer to this murder inquiry lies in the local community.

"We are aware of the speculation surrounding Thomas Sharkey Snr's alleged involvement in criminality and this may be one of the reasons why there is reluctance on the part of some people to speak to police.

Image caption Thomas Sharkey Snr died six days after the fire - his wife Angela is still in hospital

"What I would also point out is that we are investigating the murders of an innocent eight year-old child, Bridget and her 21-year-old brother Thomas junior who will not now realise his ambition to become a professional golfer.

"I am in absolutely no doubt that there are people out there with vital information on this investigation, who have not yet come forward to police."

Det Sup McPike said information could be treated in confidence and those with concerns should phone Crimestoppers where they would not be required to give their names.

He added: "We are examining CCTV footage from the area around the scene and in Helensburgh town centre, and are working towards identifying people or vehicles seen in the area around the time in question.

"I am aware that there were a couple of parties taking place at houses or flats near to the scene and that people were coming and going from the parties well into the small hours of the morning.

"It is critical to the investigation that people who were at these parties come forward and contact the police. They may hold vital information and their movements on the night and morning in question are also of critical importance."

"Angela Sharkey remains in a critical but stable condition in Glasgow Royal Infirmary and still doesn't know that her children and husband are dead so I would ask people to search their conscience and contact Strathclyde Police."

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