Celtic manager bomb plotters jailed27/04/2012 - 11:20:32
Two men who sent parcel bombs to Celtic manager Neil Lennon and other high-profile fans of the club have been jailed for five years each.
Trevor Muirhead, 44, of Kilwinning, and Neil McKenzie, 42, of Saltcoats, both Ayrshire, plotted to assault Lennon, former MSP Trish Godman and the late QC Paul McBride, as well as people at the republican organisation Cairde Na hEireann, by sending devices they believed were capable of exploding and causing severe injury.
They were sentenced to five years each for the charge at the High Court in Glasgow.
Both were originally accused of a more serious charge of conspiring to murder their targets but it was thrown out a day before the trial concluded due to insufficient evidence.
McKenzie was also sentenced to 18 months, which will run at the same time as his five-year sentence, after being found guilty of a separate charge of posting a hoax bomb to Lennon at Celtic Park to make him believe it was likely to explode.
Muirhead was cleared of the charge with a not proven verdict.
Sentencing them today, trial judge Lord Turnbull said their actions were ``incomprehensible''.
Muirhead and McKenzie were convicted last month following a five-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow.
The jury heard that McKenzie told police he learned how to make a hoax bomb after seeing it on the 1980s TV show 'The A-Team'.
Giving evidence during the trial, Lennon said he was left “very disturbed” after finding out he had been targeted.
The assault plot centred on four suspicious packages, all of them non-viable, which were discovered last spring.
A second device sent to Lennon at Celtic’s training ground in Lennoxtown, East Dunbartonshire, was intercepted at a sorting office in Kirkintilloch on March 26 last year when a postman spotted a nail protruding from it.
It tested positive for peroxide, which can be used to make explosives.
Two days later a package delivered to Ms Godman’s constituency office in Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, caused the evacuation of the building.
Liquid inside a plastic bottle within the package tested positive for a small amount of the primary explosive triacetone triperoxide.
Before the incident, Ms Godman, who was Labour MSP for West Renfrewshire, had been filmed wearing a Celtic strip to the Scottish Parliament, which she claimed was meant to be a private matter.
Also on March 28, a postman tried to deliver a package to Cairde Na hEireann in Glasgow’s Gallowgate.
After two failed attempts, it was sent to the Royal Mail’s National Returns Centre in Belfast, where it was found to contain potentially explosive peroxide.
The final package, found on April 15 in a postbox on Montgomerie Terrace, Kilwinning, was addressed to the late Mr McBride.
The lawyer, who died suddenly days before he was due to give evidence at the trial, was known to have represented Lennon and Celtic.
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