Glasgow & West Scotland

Closing speeches at Neil Lennon parcel bomb trial

Neil Lennon, Trish Godman and Paul McBride QC
Image caption Neil Lennon, Trish Godman and the late Paul McBride were all sent suspect packages

The trial of two men accused of sending parcel bombs to Neil Lennon and two high-profile Celtic fans has started hearing closing speeches.

Prosecutor Tim Niven-Smith said the devices were not viable but the Crown case relied on the fact that both accused believed they were.

Defence lawyers will deliver their closing speeches on Wednesday.

Neil McKenzie and Trevor Muirhead deny a plot to kill the Celtic manager, MSP Trish Godman and lawyer Paul McBride.

Following closing speeches at the trial at the High Court in Glasgow, judge Lord Turnbull is expected to charge the jury on Thursday.

Advocate depute, Mr Niven-Smith invited the jury to believe the person or people involved in sending the parcels were involved in all of them, and they were intended for people linked with Celtic Football Club.

He said there was evidence showing Mr McKenzie was responsible for buying half of the needed components the day before the Mr McBride QC was sent a parcel bomb and that Mr Muirhead was aware of the packages.

The court was told of a number of conversations between the two accused including a text referring to "our package".

It was also said that Mr Muirhead's son Gordon gave evidence that before the final package was discovered - nearby to his house - that he was given a warning by the men about turning left when he went outside his house, in the direction of the postbox the package was found.

Mr Niven-Smith showed the jury an image of Mr McKenzie at a shop buying, among other things, A5 envelopes, travel bottles and a rubber watch, before a parcel was sent to Mr McBride.

'Not coincidence'

He said: "That's the bomber, that Neil McKenzie is the man perhaps just 24 hours or more before the package addressed to the late Mr McBride, he is in the store.

"He is buying three of the six components to make the pack which is found the following day."

An image from the same day also showed him buying nails - which when examined were similar to those found in the packages.

Mr Niven-Smith added: "So out of the six component parts, I say we have identified four that he has purchased. Coincidence? I suggest not."

He told the court that of all the packages sent, there were 11 similarities which showed that it was the same person or people involved.

The jury was asked to convict Mr Muirhead as he would have known what was going on, using evidence from audio surveillance in Mr McKenzie's car and text messages he sent to Mr McKenzie.

The court was also told that using telephone evidence it was clear Mr Muirhead was involved.

Mr Muirhead and Mr McKenzie are on trial charged with planning to "assault and murder" Mr Lennon, the late QC Mr McBride and ex-MSP Ms Godman between 1 March and 15 April last year.

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

Charges were dropped last Friday by the Crown and a further alternative allegation contrary to the Explosive Substances Act of "unlawfully and maliciously conspiring" to endanger life or cause serious injury was also dropped.

The trial, before Lord Turnbull, continues.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites