Glasgow & West Scotland

Angela Sharkey 'no idea' who would target her family

A woman whose husband and two children died following a deliberate fire at their Helensburgh home has urged the attacker to "do the decent thing".

Angela Sharkey said she did not know who would target her family or what motive they may have.

The 46-year-old was released from hospital on Monday after suffering severe burns in the fire on 24 July.

The deaths of Thomas Sharkey Jnr, 21, eight-year-old Bridget, and Thomas Snr, 55, are being treated as murder.

Mrs Sharkey told BBC Scotland that she remembered "absolutely nothing" about the fire and her earliest recollection was "about two-and-a-half weeks later" in intensive care in hospital.

She said she "had no idea" who could have done such a thing to her family and had told the police that if she "even had an inkling" she would tell them.

Mrs Sharkey said: "If I had any idea about anything - a reason, a motive - I would say because the three things I loved the most about my life are dead.

"I have no idea how anyone can do this and get up in the morning and function as a person knowing that they've done this. It's beyond me altogether."

Mrs Sharkey appealed for anyone with information about her family's deaths to come forward.

In her plea she said: "This has happened to me and it doesn't really matter who has done it and why they've done it because everything I love has gone.

"But I would hate for anyone else to go through this because it's not right - innocent children.

"Anybody who has got kids should feel it and if they know anything I just don't know how they can carry on their life if they are holding back stuff.

"I know I couldn't live with myself if it was me. So, just do the decent thing."

Mrs Sharkey said she recalled nothing about the fire until she was told more than two weeks after it had happened.

Emergency services were called to the Sharkey's double-storey first floor house in Scott Court, Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, at about 05:00 on Sunday 24 July.

Image caption Angela Sharkey's two children, Bridget and Thomas, on a recent holiday

The body of Thomas Sharkey Jnr was found within the property. His sister Bridget died a short time later at the Royal Alexandria Hospital in Paisley.

Mr and Mrs Sharkey managed to escape from the house but were badly injured.

Mr Sharkey died days later after being informed about the deaths of his children.

Mrs Sharkey recalled how her sister had broken the news to her that her husband and two children had died.

She said: "She actually told me four times that Thomas, Bridget and Tommy were all dead and each time I was like - 'don't be daft, don't be stupid'."

Mrs Sharkey said her sister had been prepared for her disbelieving response, which she said was "good" as it must have been hard for her to break that news.

She added: "In my mind the kids were visiting me and everything but obviously I was 'away with the fairies'."

In an emotional recollection, she said: "In my mind, young Thomas was visiting me and I actually said to him: 'you need to phone your Auntie Margaret and tell her you're not dead because she keeps telling me you're dead'."

Mrs Sharkey said she finally realised what was happening when she saw the look on her sister-in-law's face.

'Typical girl'

She said her daughter was "a typical girl" who was "right in the middle of everything".

Image caption Thomas Sharkey Snr, pictured with his wife Angela, died six days after the fire

Mrs Sharkey said she had received hundreds of letters since the tragedy but "the winner" was "a lovely letter" from Bridget's primary four teacher.

She said her son Thomas Jnr was two years into his golf scholarship in the United States at Georgia Southern University.

Mrs Sharkey went on: "He had won the most improved golfer this year which was mega important to him because he hated to get beat.

"He loved his golf and he was doing really brilliant. I'll never know how well he could have done because he was going for it and wanted to be a golfer since he was a wee boy.

"That was all he ever did. Even as a teenager he never went out. It was always the golf club.

"When this chance came with the scholarship, he took it, he grasped it and he loved it.

"He was 21. It's just not right.

"He was full of confidence. He was going to make it. 'You don't need to worry about when you're old mum, I'm going to take care of you'.

"What a boy. He was brilliant. I doted on him. He was just the best son anyone could have."

Mrs Sharkey said she was still unable to even think about the loss of her husband, as she was still dealing with missing her children.

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