Police charge 2 in letter-bomb case

Updated: May 13, 2011, 1:19 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- Two men have been charged following an investigation by Scottish police into the letter bombs addressed to Celtic manager Neil Lennon and two prominent fans of the Glasgow club.

Trevor Muirhead, 43, and Neil McKenzie, 41, were each charged at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court on Friday with three counts of dispatching packages containing explosive substances and two of sending a hoax bomb.

The packages were intercepted before reaching their targets and did not explode.

Muirhead and McKenzie were arrested Thursday following raids at several properties in Kilwinning, 30 miles southwest of Glasgow. They have been held in custody.

The incidents happened in the weeks after a tumultuous Scottish Cup match between Glasgow rivals Celtic and Rangers in March, when three Rangers players were sent off before Lennon and Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist became involved in a heated exchange after the final whistle.

The first parcel bomb targeting Lennon was found on March 4 and a second was intercepted at a sorting office outside Glasgow on March 26.

Another package destined for Celtic-supporting Scottish lawmaker Trish Godman was intercepted at her office two days later. A fourth package destined for Paul McBride, a lawyer who has represented Lennon, was intercepted in April.

Matches between the two Glasgow rivals this season have increasingly been inflamed by sectarian tensions. While Celtic is traditionally supported by Irish Catholics, Rangers is mainly backed by Protestants.

In a separate incident, police were called to Celtic's ground on Thursday after a suspect package believed to have contained a bullet and addressed to Lennon was found.

On Wednesday, Lennon was attacked by a Hearts fan during Celtic's 3-0 win over the predominantly Protestant-supported side.

John Wilson of Edinburgh ran onto the field from the home section of the main stand and lunged at Lennon, making contact with the back of his head. He was charged under Scotland's anti-sectarian laws with assault and breach of the peace, both aggravated by religious prejudice.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE