Belfast Telegraph

Men in court over Lennon explosives

Two men have appeared in court accused of plotting to murder Celtic manager Neil Lennon and other high-profile supporters of the club.

Trevor Muirhead, 43, and Neil McKenzie, 42, are accused of conspiring to kill Lennon, former MSP Trish Godman and lawyer Paul McBride QC, as well as various people in the premises of republican group Cairde Na hEireann in Glasgow, by sending improvised explosive devices to them last year. They deny the charges against them.

The two men appeared at the High Court in Glasgow for a brief hearing and their trial is expected to get under way on Thursday. They are accused of sending Lennon a package they believed was an improvised explosive device, capable of igniting and exploding, causing severe injury and death to another person.

It is further alleged that the package, sent to Lennon at Celtic FC's training centre in Lennoxtown, contained a plastic bottle containing the substance triacetone triperoxide with a wire attached and a plastic bag containing a bag of nails and a watch component.

McKenzie, from Saltcoats in Ayrshire, and Muirhead, from Kilwinning in Ayrshire, are also charged with sending similar devices to Ms Godman at an address in Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, and to Cairde Na hEireann in Glasgow.

It is alleged the package sent to Mr McBride at Advocates' Library, Parliament House, Edinburgh, comprised a plastic bottle containing petrol, with wire attached, a plastic glove, nails and a watch component.

They are charged with sending the devices with the intention that the contents would ignite and explode when opened, causing severe injury and death to the recipients. It is also alleged the pair bought nails, envelopes, travel bottles and digital sports watches at two shops in Stevenston, Ayrshire and induced another man to buy cream peroxide.

The pair face the alternative charge that they conspired to cause an explosion "likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property".

Muirhead and McKenzie are accused of sending packages to Lennon, Ms Godman, Mr McBride and Cairde Na hEireann intending to cause such an explosion, in breach of the Explosive Substances Act 1883.

They also face four further charges which include attempting to defeat the ends of justice and sending an item by post to Lennon at Celtic Park on March 3 or 4 last year, intending him to think it was likely to "explode or ignite".

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