Belfast Telegraph

Devices 'were capable of exploding'

Two men accused of plotting to murder Celtic manager Neil Lennon and other supporters of the football club believed devices they sent to their alleged targets were capable of exploding, according to the prosecutor in their trial.

Trevor Muirhead, 44, from Kilwinning, and Neil McKenzie, 42, from Saltcoats, both Ayrshire, are accused of conspiring to kill Mr Lennon, former MSP Trish Godman and the late Paul McBride QC, as well as various people at the premises of republican group Cairde Na hEireann in Glasgow, by sending improvised explosive devices to them.

They also face another charge of dispatching an item to Mr Lennon at Celtic Park with the intention of inducing him or some other person to believe it was likely to explode or ignite and cause injury or damage to property.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between March 1 and April 15 last year. Both men deny the charges against them. At the High Court in Glasgow on Tuesday, advocate depute Tim Niven-Smith started his closing speech to the jury.

He told jurors that the Crown's case was predicated on the conclusion that the two accused believed the devices they had allegedly been involved in constructing and posting had been capable of exploding or igniting.

Mr Niven-Smith recalled a police statement given by Gordon Muirhead, Trevor Muirhead's son, in which he had told officers that his father and McKenzie had visited his house in Montgomerie Terrace on the evening of April 14, the day before a package addressed to the late Mr McBride was found in a postbox on the street.

McKenzie is said to have asked Gordon Muirhead and his partner Ayla McCartney which way they would go to a nearby Tesco shop.

Gordon Muirhead said McKenzie told the couple "Don't turn left" and something like "If you hear a bang in the night don't open the curtains". Muirhead is also said to have told his son: "Just don't turn left."

Mr Niven-Smith said the jury could conclude that this had been "a warning" and said it showed that both men knew about the package.

The trial, before Lord Turnbull, continues on Wednesday.

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