Bradley Welsh murder accused was released from prison weeks before shooting

The man accused of murdering Bradley Welsh has denied killing the Trainspotting star and has claimed he hadn’t seen a gun before his trial started.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 2:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 4:46 pm

Sean Orman, 30, told his lawyer Ian Duguid QC that he wasn’t responsible for shooting Welsh, 48, dead outside his Edinburgh home in April 2019.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Orman say he was riding a bike in Kirknewton, West Lothian, at the time of the fatal attack and claim he was involved in moving stolen cars around Edinburgh at the time of the shooting.

He said that in the days leading up to the shooting he was driving a Ford Kuga around Edinburgh and once drove past the actor’s home in Chester Street.

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Fatally shot: Bradley Welsh

But Orman said he wasn’t involved in any plot to kill Welsh or was close to his home in a Ford Kuga car on the night of the shooting.

Orman - who had been the subject of an early release order from a previous custodial sentence in 2019 - admitted to visiting tanning salons. But he denied going there because he wanted to alter his appearance.

He also told Mr Duguid that the police were looking to talk to him in the days following the shooting. He said he was reluctant to talk to officers because he feared he was about to be “recalled” to serve the remaining portion of his earlier jail term.

Mr Duguid asked him: “Had you been in Chester Street in the Kuga and shot and murdered Bradley Welsh?”

Orman replied: “No.”

The accused, of Edinburgh, was giving evidence on the 10th day of proceedings against him. He denies murdering Orman and attempting to murder a man called David McMillan, 50, in March 2019.

On Wednesday, the court heard how Orman, currently detained in HMP Shotts in Lanarkshire, was released from jail on February 20 in 2019 after serving a five year sentence for three charges of assault and robbery at bookmakers shops. He had to reside for a month at a hostel at Broughton Street, in Edinburgh.

He said he had an offer to illegally get money by moving stolen cars. He denied he was involved in the theft of the vehicles but was picking them up at locations and dropping them off.

He said he was contacted by text and became involved through a person he had met in prison who offered him the role. He said the man was called Omar who is now dead.

Orman said: “He left me details, if I needed any work, if I needed a bit of cash.”

He said the first car he picked up was at Kirknewton which had a phone in it. Keys or a fob was always left on the wheel.

He said he had the phone when he was arrested on April 22 after being stopped in Audi Q3. He said it was encrypted and told the court: "As far as I know it was Encro."

He said he was to drop the Audi Q3 off in the Seafield area and added: "I was meant to be picking up another car."

He said he knew James Davidson from jail and had bumped into him following his release. Davidson introduced him to Robert White. He said he did not know his brother Dean but thought he had been introduced to him and met him once briefly.

He said he did not know David McMillan.

Mr Duguid asked him: "Did you go to 1 Pitcairn Grove on the afternoon of March 13?". He replied: "Absolutely not." He said he did not remember where he was. He denied being in an Audi A6 that day.

Orman said he knew George Baigrie from when they were next door to each other in Bowhouse prison in Kilmarnock but denied having contact with him following his release in 2019.

He was asked if he had a lot of money when at Robert White's home and said he was "skint". The court had earlier heard how Orman had allegedly spent over £1,000 at a branch of JD Sports in Edinburgh, purchasing trainers and other clothing.

But Mr Orman said he did not have the money to make such a purchase on March 15.

He said James Davidson had cash available. He said: "James paid for what he was buying. He also bought me a couple of things."

Duguid asked: "Do you know where he got the money from?" Orman replied: "No, I never asked that."

He denied ever seeing a gun at Robert White's house and told the court: "I never personally seen a gun until in this courtroom."

He said pictures of 410 shotguns found on phone in his possession in HMP Shotts were downloaded because he was trying to find out more about the case.

Orman said: "Prior to this I thought all shotguns were the same. I didn't know anything about them."

He denied that he was ever in Robert White's house when a gun was fired. He said he was not aware of an attic at the property.

He was asked: "Do you remember every being in the house when police officers came in and going to hide in an attic?" He said: "Definitely not, I would remember that."

He said that in March 2019 he had not received or been in possession of a Ford Kuga. He said he left the hostel on March 20 and was supposed to go to his mother's home, but would stay with male and female friends.

Orman said he had been asked to drop off a car at Kirknewton and said it was a "hub". He said he had also dropped off and picked up cars in East Calder.

He was referred to evidence about a Ford Kuga driving past Chester Street on April 7 but denied he was the driver.

Orman said he would have driven past Chester Street - but that he was on his way to visit a friend and he said he wasn’t taking part in any ‘surveillence’ of Mr Welsh.

He told the court that on the night of Welsh’s shooting, he was at his mum’s house in Edinburgh and went to Kirknewton to pick up a stolen car. He was told to move it. But after riding there on a bike, the car wasn’t there and he phoned his friend Levi Begg to come and pick him up.

He told Mr Duguid that he left his bike close to the cemetery in Kirknewton.

He added: “I couldn’t be bothered cycling back.”

Orman said he was upset at having to go to Kirknewton as it was a wasted journey and he “wouldn’t get paid”

The court heard that Orman made nine visits to tanning salons between March 9 and April 12 2019.

Orman said: “When I was released from prison I was pale white. I hadn’t seen the sun in about five years.”

When Mr Duguid asked him whether he visited the tanning salons to disguise himself, Orman replied: “No that’s ridiculous.”

At the start of proceedings on Wednesday, Orman was acquitted of 13 charges after prosecutors withdraw the allegations at the close of their case.

He was told he’d no longer be facing allegations of him breaching road traffic offences, possessing ‘controlled’ drugs and breaching firearms legislation.

He will also no longer face an allegation that he assaulted David McMillan, 25, at a house in Pitcairn Grove, Edinburgh on March 13 2019.

Prosecutors also claimed that on April 22 2019, on the A720 City of Edinburgh bypass, Orman failed to stop a car after being “required to do so” by the police.

It’s claimed that on the same date, on the City of Edinburgh bypass and at other locations in the city, Orman drove at speeds up to 123 miles per hour in a 70mph zone.

Prosecutors said in this charge that Orman drove on Wester Hailes Road at speeds exceeding 80mph and drove on the opposite side of the road. It’s also alleged that he drove around a roundabout in an “anti clockwise” direction.

In this charge, prosecutors also claimed that Orman drove on Stevenson Drive on the wrong side of the road and at speeds exceeding 88mph when the limit was “20 into 30 miles per hour”.

The charge also stated that in Dundee Terrace, Orman allegedly drove at speeds exceeding 70mph in a 30 mph zone whilst being pursued by a ‘marked” police car with flashing blue lights and its klaxon sounding directing him to stop.

He allegedly drove the car at this time without having insurance and had heroin and Diazepam in his possession.

Judge Lord Beckett acquitted Orman of the charges moments before prosecutor Richard Goddard QC closed the Crown case against him.

The development came on the 10th day of proceedings against Orman continues to deny murdering Bradley Welsh outside the former boxer’s home in Chester Street, Edinburgh two years ago.

Orman is now facing two charges to which he pleaded not guilty at the start of proceedings.

Prosecutors 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 that Orman attempted to murder him.

Mr Orman’s legal team have lodged two special defences to the court.

In relation to the alleged attempted murder bid on Mr McMillan, Orman claims a man called Michael Sutherland “and others.. unknown” were responsible for the alleged attack.

Orman’s legal team claims that at the time Mr Welsh was shot, he was not in Chester Street but was “elsewhere” travelling alone on a “cycle” between Longstone and Kirknewton, Midlothian.

The trial continues. Orman continues to give evidence.

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