Neil Lennon parcel bomb plot pair refused bail by appeal judges as they battle sentences

APPEAL judges have refused to release two men while they consider their attempt to overturn convictions for a parcel bomb plot against Celtic manager Neil Lennon and high-profile supporters of the club.

• Both men found guilty of conspiring to assault the Celtic boss along with former MSP Trish Godman and late QC Paul McBride

• Jury persuaded that accused believed they were sending viable explosive devices

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Trevor Muirhead, 44, of Kilwinning, and Neil McKenzie, 43, of Saltcoats, both North Ayrshire, were told at the end of a hearing in the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh that the judges wanted time to reach their decision, which would be given in due course. No specified date was fixed.

Lawyers for the men asked for their release on bail until the judgment was issued but the plea was rejected by Lord Menzies, sitting with Lady Clark and Lord Philip.

Muirhead and McKenzie were each given five-year jail sentences after being found guilty at a trial earlier this year of conspiring to assault Mr Lennon, as well as the former MSP, Trish Godman, and the late QC, Paul McBride.

Packages had been sent to each of the intended victims and although none was capable of exploding and causing injury, the prosecution persuaded the jury that Muirhead and McKenzie had believed they were sending viable explosive devices.

In the appeal, the men contended that there was insufficient evidence for the jury to have reached such a conclusion or, if there was technically enough evidence, no reasonable jury could have returned a guilty verdict based on it.