Two men found guilty of Celtic FC bomb plot


Two men were convicted yesterday of conspiring to assault the Celtic football manager, Neil Lennon, and other high-profile supporters of the Scottish club in a parcel bomb plot.

Trevor Muirhead and Neil McKenzie sent devices they believed were capable of exploding to Lennon, as well as to a former Member of the Scottish Parliament, Trish Godman, the late Paul McBride QC, as well as the Irish republican organisation Cairde Na hEireann, in March and April last year.

McKenzie was also convicted of posting an item to Lennon at Celtic Park with the intention of making him believe it was likely to explode or ignite and cause injury or damage to property. Muirhead was cleared of this charge after the jury returned a not proven verdict.

A jury of 11 women and four men took almost two-and-a-half hours to find the pair guilty by majority verdict of the conspiracy to assault charge and McKenzie by unanimous verdict for sending another suspicious package to Lennon, following a five-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Muirhead, 44, of Kilwinning, and McKenzie, 42, from Saltcoats, North Ayrshire, were originally accused of conspiring to murder their targets but the charge was thrown out yesterday owing to lack of evidence.

The defendants had denied the charges against them. The case centred on five suspicious packages, two addressed to Lennon, which were found last spring. None of the devices sent were viable, the court heard, but prosecutors argued that both accused believed four of them were capable of exploding or igniting.

The judge, Lord Turnbull, deferred sentencing until 27 April.