Bomb trial told of ‘explosive’ liquid

Liquid found in a package sent to the republican organisation Cairde Na Heireann contained a potentially explosive organic peroxide, a court has heard.

The package, which was addressed to the organisation at 260 Gallowgate, Glasgow, also contained a number of nails, a wire and a watch component.

Trevor Muirhead, 43, and Neil McKenzie, 42, are accused of conspiring to murder Celtic manager Neil Lennon, former MSP Trish Godman and Paul McBride QC, as well as various people in the premises of Cairde Na Heireann, by sending improvised explosive devices to them.

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Giving evidence at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday, postman Ross McDonald told how the brown “Jiffy”-style packet sent to Cairde Na Heireann failed to be delivered twice on 28 and 29 March last year, as the office’s shutters were down. It was then sent to the Royal Mail’s national returns centre in Belfast.

David McCavana, 41, head of the returns centre, said the package was X-rayed twice on 12 April. It showed a quantity of nails, a “light sensitive diode”, a bottle and a wire.

The liquid was tested on a computerised machine called a “hazmat”, but he said it did not test positive for any “hazardous” substances. Mr McCavana said he thought it was a “hoax device”.

The court heard the hazmat machine did not test for explosives, only for materials which might be hazardous to health.

Muirhead, from Kilwinning, Ayrshire, and McKenzie, from Saltcoats, Ayrshire, deny all the charges. The trial continues.