Lord Turnbull handed both individuals five years in prison, with an additional sentence of 18 months for Muirhead for sending the first package to Neil Lennon. Given time served both will be eligible for parole in two-three years.
Both men originally faced charges of conspiracy to murder aggravated by religious hatred. However the religious hatred element of the charge was dropped by the CPS before the trial started and the murder charge was removed by Lord Turnbull near the end of the case.
Open Justice UK were at the High Court and reported:
In his sentencing statement Lord Turnbull made reference to the previous good character of the two men, saying it was “incomprehensible that two such family men would engage in such serious criminal and reckless conduct” and “I can’t fathom what was in your minds at the time when you did this.”
As the men offered no evidence in their defence, and did not speak in court, their motives have never been properly explored, other than a police interview with Neil McKenzie who said his co-accused had a “pure hatred and it seems to be aimed at Neil Lennon and anything to do with Celtic Football Club.”
Police have never located where McKenzie and Muirhead assembled the potentially explosive packages nor did they retrieve any “useful forensic material” from them. In the trial it was argued that the devices they were sending were becoming more sophisticated as time went on, If they had not been caught, detectives are convinced they “could have killed”.
It is reported that both individuals defence teams will be appealing the verdict.