Belfast Telegraph

Accused 'learned of hoax on A-Team'

A man accused of plotting to murder Celtic manager Neil Lennon and other supporters of the football club said he was aware of how to make a bomb after seeing it on the 1980s TV show The A-Team, a court has heard.

Neil McKenzie admitted to police that he had constructed a "hoax bomb" posted to Lennon at Celtic Park, and said he had bought materials for other packages, which he claimed to have passed on to his co-accused, Trevor Muirhead.

Both men are alleged to have conspired to kill Lennon, former MSP Trish Godman, the late Paul McBride QC and various people at the premises of Cairde Na Heireann in Glasgow by sending improvised explosive devices to them.

At their trial at the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday, a recording of a police interview with McKenzie, carried out on May 12 2011 by Detective Constable Andy McCarthy, was played to the jury.

McKenzie, from Saltcoats, Ayrshire, initially said he had been "involved" with the first package, which was discovered by a Royal Mail worker at a postbox in the town's Gladstone Road on March 4 last year, but later admitted to having constructed it himself.

He told the detective he believed the package was "meant to be for a laugh" and said "we were gonnae write on the back 'Return to Ally McCoist' kinda thing (sic)".

McKenzie, a father of three, said: "The first one was just a hoax. A bit of wire stuck to some putty." When asked how he knew how to make the "hoax bomb", he replied: "I saw it on the television. On the A-Team. A long time ago."

McKenzie also "purchased the stuff" for "most of" the other parcels, including envelopes and watches, the jury heard.

DC McCarthy asked him what the intention was in sending suspect packages addressed to Lennon, Ms Godman, Mr McBride, and the office of Cairde na Heireann, to which he answered that it was to "scare them", but not harm them.

McKenzie and Muirhead, 43, from Kilwinning, Ayrshire, deny all the charges against them. The trial, before Lord Turnbull, continues.

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