Glasgow & West Scotland

Three teenagers admit break in at Glasgow's Clutha bar

Clutha bar Image copyright AP
Image caption Seven people inside the pub, and the three members of the helicopter crew, died in last month's tragedy

Three teenagers have admitted stealing alcohol, cash and charity tins from the Clutha bar in Glasgow, weeks after 10 people died in a helicopter crash.

Jordan Parry, 16, Darren Melrose, 18 and Charmaine Holmes, 17, pleaded guilty to breaking into the pub, while acting with another, on 17 December.

They were caught after being seen by a man who was paying his respects to a friend who died there on 29 November.

Sentence on the teenagers was deferred and they were remanded in custody.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that about 02:20 on 17 December last year, Edward Kirkland was standing near flowers at the edge of the Clydeside when he saw the three accused hanging around at the pub and was "concerned".

'Pressure and force'

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

Procurator fiscal depute Cecelia De-Groot told the court: "CCTV operators were alerted and they were able to observe the accused outside the locus. The first time on the CCTV is 2.24 hours."

She said Holmes could be seen going to the front of the pub and trying to get in but it was secured.

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

Mrs De-Groot said: "The accused, Melrose, then approached the front door and forced entry using bodily pressure and force.

"All accused entered the locus and they remained there until 2.45 hours.

"They could be seen exiting and they ran across the road in possession of carrier bags."

They were spotted on CCTV heading along the River Clyde and police made their way there.

'Piles of coins'

Mrs De-Groot added: "They could be heard smashing what was charity tins off the pavement and throwing parts of the tins into the River Clyde. Officers observed piles of coins from the tins on the ground and bottles of alcohol."

Parry, Melrose and Holmes were told they were being arrested for theft by housebreaking.

Police 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.

The court heard £171 was the amount taken from three charity tins and a quantity of alcohol too.

Sheriff Joseph Platt deferred sentence on each accused until next month for reports.

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.