Belfast Telegraph

Accused 'saw Lennon package posted'

A man accused of conspiring to kill Neil Lennon in a parcel bomb plot told police he was present when his co-accused posted a package he thought was addressed to the Celtic manager, a court has heard.

Trevor Muirhead said the package contained nails and was sent by Neil McKenzie, whom he had earlier described as a friend.

A jury heard that Muirhead told officers McKenzie has "pure hatred and it seems to be aimed at Neil Lennon and anything to do with Celtic Football Club". Both men deny all charges.

The 43-year-old, from Kilwinning, and McKenzie, 42, from Saltcoats, both Ayrshire, are on trial accused of conspiring to assault and murder Lennon as well as the late Paul McBride QC, former MSP Trish Godman and various people inside the Glasgow premises of Irish Republican organisation Cairde Na Heireann by sending what they believed were improvised explosives devices to them through the post.

Their trial at the High Court in Glasgow has heard that Muirhead was interviewed under caution by police in Paisley on May 12 last year after he was detained and a recording of the latter part of that interview was played to the jury.

During the session, Muirhead was asked about a package recovered on Friday March 4 last year from a postbox in Gladstone Road, Saltcoats.

"I was there when it was posted," Muirhead told officers. Asked who had posted it, he replied: "Neil McKenzie", adding that he thought it was "another one of his fantasies".

He went on: "I think it was addressed to Mr Neil Lennon at Celtic Park, Glasgow. I'm not sure - as I say, it was in the dark and it wasn't the best of lights."

During the interview, police also asked Muirhead whether he had any "thoughts about apologies" for Mr Lennon, Mrs Godman, Mr McBride and their families.

"I had nothing to do with Mr McBride, I had nothing to do with the MP (sic). And I'll unreservedly apologise to Neil Lennon. I've nothing against (him) at all, or Celtic Football Club."

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