Bradley Welsh 'ordered man to remove mobile phone chip' hours after machete attack, court hears

Shooting victim Bradley Welsh told a man to remove a ‘chip’ from his father’s mobile phone hours after the pair were attacked at their home, a court has heard.
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David McMillan, 25, and Welsh exchanged a series of text messages in the hours after he and his dad, also David, were assaulted at their house in Edinburgh in March 2019.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Mr McMillan senior and Welsh had been friends for many years, having grown up together and attended school together. In a text message sent by Welsh hours after the attack, he described Mr McMillan senior as being “my brother”.

And on Friday, Mr McMillan junior, told a jury how Welsh got in touch with him in the hours after he and his dad were attacked by a masked man and two accomplices, who were also wearing balaclavas.

Gunned down: Bradley WelshGunned down: Bradley Welsh
Gunned down: Bradley Welsh

The jury were shown an exchange of text messages between the two men. Mr McMillan junior told Welsh that his father was being treated for his injuries in hospital.

He told Welsh that he had his dad’s mobile phone. This prompted Welsh to write to him: “Turn it off take out the chip pal.”

Mr McMillan junior replied: “Will do Brad.”

The court heard Mr McMillan say that he thought the word ‘chip’ referred to the phone’s SIM card - and the court heard that removing this from the mobile may cause data on it to be destroyed.

The evidence emerged on the third day of proceedings which have been brought against 30-year-old Sean Orman, who denies blasting Welsh in the face with a shotgun and murdering him at his home in Edinburgh’s West End in April 2019.

Orman, also of Edinburgh, also denies attempting to murder David McMillan, 50, and assaulting his namesake son at their home in the city’s Pitcairn Grove, Edinburgh, on March 13 2019.

Prosecutors claim he killed Welsh – who won praise after he played hardman Mr Doyle in the sequel to Danny Boyle’s classic 1996 movie Trainspotting.

In the movie - which was based on Scottish author Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting - Mr Doyle drives Renton and Sick Boy to the countryside after he becomes aware of their attempts to make money at his expense. He forces them to strip naked and walk through woods in one memorable scene.

Hibs fan Welsh ran a boxing gym in the Capital and had been offering programs to help kids stay out of trouble.

He was also involved with and Edinburgh based charity Helping Hands which fights inequality in the city.

Before taking up acting, Welsh – 48 when he died – was also an amateur British lightweight boxing champion.

Mr McMillan junior told the court that he and his girlfriend Emma Fraser were at home on that date when he suddenly heard his mum Emma from downstairs.

He told prosecution lawyer Richard Goddard QC that there were masked men in the house.

He added: “I was upstairs with Emma and I heard my mum screaming,”

He said he ran into the family’s kitchen to see his dad being assaulted.

Mr McMillan added: “There was someone standing over my dad hacking at him with a large sword.”

Mr McMillan, who gave evidence wearing a DC Comics FanDome T-shirt, said he had taken a plastic bat, which was a piece of memorabilia from the TV show the Walking Dead with him.

He added: “It’s fully plastic. I struck the man over the head and it just smashed. He looked stunned. He stumbled back in the hallway and I believe he fell over.

“Another man was trying to wrestle the door with me and my mum. Another man was on the staircase.”

The court heard the men left after they were told that the police had been called. Mr McMillan said he had sustained ‘lacerations’ to his left ring finger and wrist.

His dad was bleeding heavily and had fractured his skull and there was a bleed on his brain.

Mr Goddard asked Mr McMillan: “This was very serious. Did you know what this was all about?”

Mr McMillan replied: “Not a clue.”

Mr Goddard also asked Mr McMillan: “Does this appear to look like a targeted attack on your father?”

Mr McMillan replied: “Yes. It looks like that.”

The court was played a recording of the 999 call Mr McMillan made after the attack. During the call, Mr McMillan can be heard saying ‘we don’t want the police. We just need an ambulance.”

Mr McMillan Senior could also be heard saying: “No police. No police.”

Mr McMillan junior said the reason why he said that was that his girlfriend Emma had already contacted the police and he was trying to get medical help for his father.

He told Mr Goddard: “I knew the police had been called. The police weren’t going to save my dad - an ambulance was going to save my dad.”

The court heard that both David Junior and his dad were taken to hospital. Welsh started contacted David Junior in a series of text messages.

Welsh said he had came to the McMillan’s home and “the police” were “all about.”

David Junior replied: “Yeah. They have been everywhere.”

Welsh told Mr McMillan junior in another text: “feel frustrated pal. Your dad’s my brother.”

Welsh also said that he got stopped on Moredun Road in Edinburgh and got his car “turned over” and “searched”

In another text message, Welsh asked: “accents” The court heard that this was in reference to whether Mr McMillan’s attacker spoke during the assault.

When Mr Goddard asked Mr McMillan junior what Welsh meant, the witness replied: “Foreign accents. Glaswegian accents.. anything.”

In another text message, Mr McMillan said he had learned that the men who had attacked him and his car had set their car on fire in Oxgangs.

Welsh replied: “That’s first clue… DNA.”

In another text message, Mr McMillan wrote about the police not letting him see his family.

He wrote: “Am sitting in hospital and they won’t let my mum or girlfriend near me. They are b*****ds.’

Mr Goddard also asked Mr McMillan whether he knew a man called ‘George Baigrie’. He replied: “No.”

Defence advocate Ian Duguid asked Mr McMillan whether his request to the 999 operator for no police involvement showed that he and his family didn’t want to co-operate with a police inquiry.

He denied this and added: “I gave a full statement in the ambulance.”

Earlier on Friday, Dean White, 49, gave evidence for the second day. He had earlier told that Orman had told him he was being paid £10,000 to kill Welsh weeks before he died.

On Friday, he said that police failed to act on the information.

He added: "I gave the police a chance to go and save a man's life which they did not do. They didn't act on the statement which I gave them.”

"I told them everything that was going to happen and the guy got murdered," he told the High Court in Edinburgh.

"I have told police officers 'there is a gun in the house. Please go to the house now and you will get and you will get the guy'. That's the gun he killed Bradley Welsh with," said Mr White.

Mr White earlier told the court that Orman was going to "do the job" and was getting the money from Dod Baigrie.

He said that Orman produced a shotgun from a holdall and the weapon was discharged at his brother's home and he had gone on to contact police.

Mr White said: "I told the police exactly what was going to happen. I didn't want this guy Bradley Welsh to get murdered for ten thousand pounds. I think it's terrible to take someone's life for ten thousand."

During cross-examination by Orman's counsel Ian Duguid QC he rejected a contention that he was fantasising in his evidence and said: "I am telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."

Mr Orman has pleaded not guilty to a total of 15 charges. Prosecutors claim that on April 17 2019, at 3a Chester Street, Edinburgh, prosecutors claim Orman murdered Welsh by firing a shotgun at him.

Prosecutors also 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 David McMillan, 50, 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 Mr 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. Prosecutors have also brought other charges for alleged motoring offences, possessing ‘controlled’ drugs and breaching firearms legislation.

Orman’s 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.

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 and Kirknewton, Midlothian.

The trial, before Lord Beckett, continues.

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