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Pair to face trial over Neil Lennon plot

Two men are to stand trial charged with a parcel bomb plot to kill Celtic manager Neil Lennon and high profile supporters of the club.

Trevor Muirhead (43) and Neil McKenzie (42) are alleged to have sent suspected mail bombs to Lennon, leading QC Paul McBride and ex-MSP Trish Godman.

The packages are said to have contained a potentially deadly mixture of nails, an explosive substance or petrol.

The details emerged as McKenzie, of Saltcoats, Ayrshire, and Muirhead, of Kilwinning, yesterday made their first public appearance in the dock during a preliminary hearing at the High Court in Glasgow.

The pair are alleged to have planned to "assault and murder" their intended victims between March 1 and April 15 this year as part of a sectarian conspiracy.

The duo are then accused of posting a package to Mr Lennon at Celtic's training HQ. A plastic bottle with wires was said to have contained tri-acetone tri-peroxide, a plastic bag holding nails and a watch component.

Similar packages are alleged to have been sent to Lennon's QC, Mr McBride and to former politician Ms Godman.

The charge claims the pair sent another suspected bomb to the offices of Cairde Na hEireann (Friends of Ireland) in the Gallowgate, Glasgow.

The pair face a separate allegation of dispatching an item on March 3 to Mr Lennon at Celtic Park with the intention of inducing him to believe that it would "explode or ignite".

All the accusations are said to have been aggravated by religious prejudice.

Muirhead and McKenzie are also accused of threatening to plant an IED outside a police station knowing the bomb claims were being investigated. A not guilty plea was entered on their behalf.

A trial date has been set for November.

Factfile

In Scotland an offence is aggravated by religious prejudice when the alleged crime was motivated by malice or ill will based on the victim's religion.

The law allows a judge to hand out an additional sentence if it can be proved.

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