LONDON: Two men were jailed for five years each today after being convicted of sending parcel bombs to Celtic manager Neil Lennon and two other high-profile supporters of the Glasgow club.
Trevor Muirhead, 44, and Neil McKenzie, 42, were found guilty of conspiring to assault Lennon, former Scottish lawmaker Trish Godman and high-profile lawyer Paul McBride by sending them homemade liquid-based explosive devices.
Both men were originally accused of the more serious charge of conspiring to murder their targets but the charge was thrown out a day before the trial concluded due to insufficient evidence.
Sentencing the men at the High Court in Glasgow, trial judge Alan Turnbull said their actions were “incomprehensible”. McKenzie was also sentenced to 18 months, which will run at the same time as his five-year sentence, after being found guilty of a separate charge of posting a hoax bomb to Lennon at the club’s Celtic Park stadium.
The jury heard that McKenzie told police he had learned how to make a hoax bomb after seeing it on the 1980s TV show “The A-Team”. Giving evidence during the trial, Lennon said he was left “very disturbed” after discovering he had been one of the targets.
None of the packages sent to the intended recipients exploded.
The device was sent to Lennon last year during an upsurge in sectarian tensions between Celtic, predominantly supported by Catholics, and Glasgow rivals Rangers, whose followers are mainly Protestants.
Lennon, a 39-year-old Catholic from Northern Ireland, has been the target of sectarian attacks throughout his career.
McBride, who was found dead from natural causes in a hotel in Pakistan in March, was one of the highest-profile lawyers in Scotland and a well-known Celtic fan who acted on behalf of Lennon several times.
Lennon was among the pallbearers at his funeral.
Godman had been pictured wearing a Celtic strip at the Scottish Parliament, which she claimed was meant to be a private matter.
Celtic wrapped up their 43rd Scottish title on April 7. -- AFP