herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Lennon plot trial sees 'bomb' text on accused's phone

Messages found on mobile phones seized from the homes of two men accused of conspiring to murder Celtic manager Neil Lennon and other high-profile supporters of the football club have been shown to a jury at their trial.

Trevor Muirhead (43) from Kilwinning, and Neil McKenzie (42) from Saltcoats, both Ayrshire, are alleged to have plotted to kill Mr Lennon, the late Paul McBride and former MSP Trish Godman, by sending improvised explosive devices to them.

They are also charged with sending similar devices to the premises of Cairde Na Heireann -- which means Friends of Ireland -- in Glasgow.

Both men deny the charges.

At the High Court in Glasgow yesterday, the jury was shown a text message sent from a black and silver Nokia phone found at Muirhead's house, referring to "our package".

Sent to someone listed in the phone's contacts as "Mac", it said: "Sorry about the time m8 our package was in last night waiting on navy bomb disposbal (sic)."



suspicious

The court heard the message was sent at 2.56am on April 16, 2011, the day after a suspicious package addressed to Mr McBride was lifted from a postbox in Montgomery Terrace, Kilwinning.

The day before, another message sent to the same person said: "Not heard anything about it must be on its way m8."

On April 22, the phone received a message which said: "My new number, Neil." A silver-coloured LG phone with the corresponding number was recovered from McKenzie's house, the court heard.

The jury was shown a block text message, sent to a group of contacts, including a "Trevor Muirhead", notifying them that it was a new number.

Within the phone's contacts list, there was an entry called "Neil McKenzie", which held the same number as "Mac", listed in the telephone seized from Muirhead's house.

The text messages were provided in a report, which was produced by Strathclyde Police Detective Constable Colin McLarnon (38).

Muirhead's son Gordon (24) also gave evidence at the trial yesterday.

The court was shown messages sent on April 20 to the phone recovered at Muirhead's house from a contact called "Gordon".

The trial continues on Monday.

hnews@herald.ie

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