Glasgow & West Scotland

Men face trial over Sharkey fire deaths in Helensburgh

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

Two men have made a final appearance in court before they stand trial accused of murdering three members of the same family in a house fire.

Thomas Sharkey, 21, and his eight-year-old sister Bridget died in the fire in July 2011. Their father Thomas Snr, 55, died days later. Their mother survived.

Scott Snowden, 50, and Robert Jennings, 37, are accused of setting fire to their home in Helensburgh.

At the High Court in Glasgow, their case was continued to trial next month.

Shooting threat allegation

Mr Snowden and Mr Jennings face an indictment featuring a total of 22 charges.

The murder allegation includes a claim that petrol was poured through the letterbox of the Sharkey family home while they were asleep and the liquid set alight.

It is also alleged they attempted to murder Mr Sharkey's wife Angela - the children's mother - during the same blaze at the property in Scott Street, Helensburgh.

Mr Snowden is said to have "evinced malice and ill-will" towards Mr Sharkey in the months before the fire by threatening to shoot him and have his house burnt down.

Both men, who deny the charges, appeared in the dock for the final preliminary hearing before their trial begins.

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