A WITNESS in a court case involving a bomb plot against former Celtic boss Neil Lennon claims that paranoia stemming from his involvement led to him breaking the law.

Alastair Wardrop, formerly of North Craigton Farm, on the outskirts of Barrhead, gave evidence in the 2012 trial of Neil McKenzie and Trevor Muirhead.

McKenzie and Muirhead were each jailed for five years for sending threatening packages to then Celtic boss Lennon and two other high-profile fans of the club – former MSP Trish Godman and the late Paul McBride, QC.

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Wardrop, who was serving a prison sentence at the time, gave evidence in the trial and claimed he feared for his life, as he would have to go back to jail with “100 angry cons” who might kill him.

He had told the High Court in Glasgow how McKenzie had met him in Barlinnie Prison and said he had been “remanded for the Neil Lennon case – the bomb.”

Wardrop admitted writing to the procurator fiscal and giving a statement but claimed he could not remember what he wrote or told police, adding: “Maybe I have got a malfunction with my brain or something wrong with my memory.”

It was later reported that he was branded “a grass” by other inmates and was beaten up in Kilmarnock Prison just weeks after McKenzie and Muirhead were found guilty in April 2012.

Wardrop, who has a lengthy criminal record, was later moved to a prison in Aberdeen for his own safety.

Now a court has heard he was still suffering emotionally from his involvement in the case when he committed his latest offences.

Wardrop, 38, appeared in the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court last week to be sentenced for stealing a Nissan Micra in Newton Mearns and driving it dangerously through the streets of Eaglesham while disqualified and uninsured.

The court heard he drove at speed through built-up areas, performed a U-turn when it was unsafe to do so and swerved on to the opposite carriageway, causing other drivers to take evasive action to prevent a crash.

Defence solicitor Gordon Ritchie said Wardrop suffers from paranoia.

He added: “He was a witness in a case where Neil Lennon and Paul McBride QC received parcel bombs. He was the main Crown witness.

“He was the principal witness in the prosecution case and that high-profile trial involved a number of people who were of quite significant criminal backgrounds.

“He was fearful his life and wellbeing were at risk.

“Really, that is what was behind this incident. He wasn’t taking his medication and that has led to his levels of paranoia being greater than they would have been had he been medicated, so he took the car to get away.”

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However, Sheriff Seith Ireland ruled that a jail sentence was appropriate and ordered Wardrop to spend 20 months behind bars.

He also ordered him to be returned to custody to serve the remaining 500 days of previous sentences which had yet to expire and told him he will be supervised by social workers in the community for 10 months once released.

A six-year driving ban was also imposed.

Sheriff Ireland told Wardrop: “You have an appalling record. You remain a serious risk of offending to the public at large.”