GLASGOW: Two men who sent suspect packages to Celtic manager Neil Lennon and two high-profile fans have been convicted of plotting to cause severe injury.
Trevor Muirhead, 44, and Neil McKenzie, 42, from North Ayrshire, sent devices they believed were capable of exploding and causing injury.
The men were found guilty of conspiracy to assault Mr Lennon, former MSP Trish Godman and the late Paul McBride QC.
Sentence was deferred until next month and both were returned to custody.
The case against them centred on five suspicious packages, two of them addressed to Mr Lennon, which were discovered in spring last year.
The court heard that none of the devices sent was viable but prosecutors argued that both accused believed four of them were capable of exploding or igniting.
Neil Lennon, Trish Godman and the late Paul McBride were all sent suspect packages McKenzie told police he had learned how to make a hoax bomb by watching the 1980s TV show The A-Team.
One package did not have enough stamps, another smelt of petrol and a third had a wire which fell out.
Police bugged their car and heard them complain that they were not a couple of “daft hillbillies” but the prosecution argued that packages containing explosive substances could not be regarded as hoaxes.
Muirhead, from Kilwinning, and McKenzie, from Saltcoats, both North Ayrshire, were originally accused of conspiring to murder their targets but that charge was thrown out due to insufficient evidence.
Following a five-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow, a jury of 11 women and four men took almost two and a half hours to find the pair guilty by majority verdict of the conspiracy to assault charge.
McKenzie was also found guilty of dispatching an item on 3 March to Mr Lennon at Celtic Park with the intention of inducing him to believe it would “explode or ignite”.
Muirhead was cleared of this charge after the jury returned a not proven verdict.
A package was addressed to Neil Lennon at Celtic’s training facility in Lennoxtown Judge Lord Turnbull told both men they had been convicted of “unusual but serious offences”.
Det Ch Sup John Cuddihy, senior investigating officer with Strathclyde Police, said: “Muirhead and McKenzie have been found guilty of the most cowardly and reckless of crimes. Their actions certainly have nothing to do with football and everything to do with mindless hate.”
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