Bradley Welsh murder accused in '123mph police chase'
The man accused of murdering Bradley Welsh used WhatsApp to tell a friend “it’s all going to kick off” just two days before the fatal shooting.
Levi Begg, 30, told police investigating the shooting that Sean Orman sent her a message containing the statement on April 15 2019 - two days before the former boxer lost his life.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard Ms Begg say on Wednesday that she had known Orman, 30, since her schooldays but had lost contact with him sometime ago.
She told prosecution lawyer Richard Goddard QC that she had got back in touch with him and they exchanged texts and met for dinner.
The witness also said that she had also visited a tanning salon in Edinburgh with him. Last week, the jury were read the contents of a documents of evidence which had been agreed between prosecutors and Orman’s lawyers.
In the statement, the lawyers agree that between March 9 2019 and April 12 2019, he visited a tanning salon called Indigo Sun at Fruitmarket Place in Edinburgh on nine different occasions.
On Wednesday, the court heard how Miss Begg spoke to the police about WhatsApp messages she had received from Orman in April 2019.
She told officers: “The day after Sunday April 14, he sent me a message on WhatsApp. He said he was sick of being taken for a mug and it was all going to kick off.”
The evidence emerged on the sixth day of proceeding against Orman, of Edinburgh,.
He denies murdering boxing gym owner Welsh outside his home in the city’s Chester Street on April 17 2019 and other charges.
On Wednesday, Ms Begg told Mr Goddard that she didn’t have any recollection about the conversation which she had with police officers.
She said: “I don’t remember the conversation I had with the police. It was a stressful time.”
The court heard that on the evening Welsh died, Ms Begg said she finished her dental nursing job at around 5.15pm and she came up, showered and put on nightclothes.
She said that at around 8.45pm, she left her home to go and buy “juice” when Orman phoned her to ask for a lift. She said he was in Kirknewton, West Lothian.
She said: “He phoned me and he asked me what I was doing and i said I was out getting juice and he said would you mind coming and picking me up.”
Ms Begg said she drove to Kirknewton and Orman got into her Volkswagen Polo car. She said she didn’t notice if he had placed any items into her car and was carrying a small over the body bag.
Mr Goddard said: “Did he have a larger bag?”
She replied: “Not that I could see.”
She said they chatted with each other and she didn’t think it was unusual for her friend to be in the West Lothian town as she thought he had been with a friend.
She added: “We just had a normal conversation. He asked me about my day and I asked him about his day.
“We were talking about normal stuff. Nothing gave me the impression that anything was wrong.”
Ms Begg said she started to drive back to Edinburgh but took a different route through the city’s Balerno area.
She told the court that Orman had his own phone. However, he used her phone to call a friend. She said that he got the number for the friend from his own phone.
When Mr Goddard asked her why he did this, she replied: “I don’t know why he used my phone.”
She said that Orman asked her to drive to Burnbrae Drive in Edinburgh’s East Craigs area.
She said that during the journey, they stopped in a car park in Balerno.
When Mr Goddard asked what Orman did when they stopped, she replied: “He chucked away a broken phone.”
Mr Goddard said: “Did Mr Orman put it into a recycling bin?”
She replied: “No. I don’t remember where he put it.”
Begg told police investigating Mr Welsh’s death that she thought Orman had been involved in some kind of an incident.
The court heard she told detectives: “From what he said I thought something maybe happened, that he had been in a fight or stabbed someone and was going to lie low for a while.
“It was just the felling I got because he told me not to worry.”
The court heard that Ms Begg provided a number of witness statements to the police. She told officers in a later statement that they walked across the car park in Balerno, she saw Orman take his white iPhone from his joggers. He said something about needing to get his SIM card out of the phone.
She said he was struggling to get the SIM card out and was ‘bending’ the phone on the kerb. He managed to get the back off the phone.
Ms Begg also said that he put something down a drain. However, she couldn’t tell what it was but assumed it was the phone and the SIM card.
Later on Wednesday afternoon PC Paul McNiven, 50, told the court of how he and his colleague were on nightshift duty in Edinburgh on the night of April 21 and 22.
The traffic officer told of how he and his colleague were driving a BMW 330 vehicle when they attempted to stop an Audi Q3 vehicle which was breaching road regulations.
PC McNiven told of how they stopped the car on the City of Edinburgh bypass. He got out and attempted to speak to the driver at 2.45am.
However, as PC McNiven approached the rear passenger door, the Audi accelerated and drove off, causing the officer to run back into the car.
The traffic policeman said that he and his colleagues have cameras in the car which record pursuits.
The jury were shown a recording of the pursuit which took place for approximately 20 minutes through the streets of Edinburgh.
Members saw the Audi reach speeds of 123 miles per hour. One one section of the pursuit, at the city’s Murrayburn Road, the Audi drove in excess of 101 mph in a 30mph zone.
The jurors saw footage of the Audi driving on the wrong side of the road, going the wrong way around roundabouts and driving the wrong way up on a one way street.
At one stage, PC McNiven and his colleague were forced to abandon the pursuit of the Audi as it entered the Western Approach Road on the wrong side of the road.
The officers then started pursuing the vehicle again shortly afterwards as jurors saw the car ignore the police vehicle’s siren and flashing blue lights.
The court heard that police managed to deploy a stinger device on the city’s Lanark Road. The device deflated the tyres on the Audi and the vehicle came to a stop.
The jury heard the driver of the vehicle was Sean Orman.
PC McNiven said: “He was arrested on suspicion of failing to stop for the police.”
The court heard that officers then conducted a search of the vehicle. They found quantities of drugs and two petrol cans containing the fuel.
The jury were shown police photograph. In the back seat of the vehicle, beside the petrol cans, jurors could see a large teddy bear sitting folded over.
The court heard that Orman was taken to Edinburgh’s St Leonard’s Police station and arrived there at 3.43am.
Orman has pleaded not guilty to murdering Welsh and 14 other charges.
Prosecutors have also brought other charges for alleged motoring offences, possessing ‘controlled’ drugs and breaching firearms legislation.
They claim that on March 13 2019, at 1 Pitcairn Grove, Edinburgh, Orman - “whilst acting along with others to the prosecutor unknown” wore a mask and assaulted Mr McMillan by striking him to the head and body with a machete or “similar instrument.”
It’s claimed that the assault was to Mr McMillan’s “severe injury” and “permanent” impairment and that Orman attempted to murder him.
It’s also alleged on the same date at the same location Orman assaulted Mr McMillan’s 25-year-old son, also named David, by striking him on the body with a machete or similar instrument to his injury.
On April 17 2019, at 3a Chester Street, Edinburgh, prosecutors claim Orman murdered Welsh by firing a shotgun at him.
His legal team have lodged two special defences to the court.
In relation to the alleged assaults on the McMillans, Orman claims a man called Michael Sutherland “and others.. unknown” were responsible for the alleged attacks.
Orman’s legal team claims that at the time Welsh was shot, he was not in Chester Street but was “elsewhere” travelling alone on a “cycle” between Longstone in Edinburgh and Kirknewton, West Lothian.
The trial, before judge Lord Beckett, continues.