Bradley Welsh murder was a 'meticulously planned assassination' says judge

The contract killer who murdered T2 Trainspotting actor Bradley Welsh has been given a life sentence for the “cowardly and wicked” killing.
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Sean Orman, 30, crept up behind Bradley Welsh, 48, and opened fire with a shotgun thought to be made in the 1890s on the evening of April 17 2019.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Mr Welsh was getting ready to enter his home in the city’s Chester Street when Orman opened fire at a distance of one meter.

Gunned down on his doorstep: Bradley WelshGunned down on his doorstep: Bradley Welsh
Gunned down on his doorstep: Bradley Welsh
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Mr Welsh was shot in his head whilst his partner and young child were inside the property unaware that their loved one was dying in the street.

The court heard how Orman was paid £10,000 to perform the hit and was allegedly given the cash by a man called George Baigrie.

It was also alleged that Mr Baigrie paid Orman to attack businessman David McMillan, 50, at his home in Pitcairn Grove, Edinburgh, on march 13 2019.

Tributes at the scene where Bradley Welsh was slainTributes at the scene where Bradley Welsh was slain
Tributes at the scene where Bradley Welsh was slain

Orman went to the house masked with other males and struck Mr McMillan on his head and body with a machete. The assault was so severe that police treated the attack as attempted murder.

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On Friday afternoon, a jury took just a few hours to return verdicts of guilt on charges of murdering Mr Welsh and attempting to murder Mr McMillan.

Judge Lord Beckett imposed a punishment part of 28 years for the murder charge and 10 years for the attempted murder charge.

He told Orman that he might not be released after the custodial terms ended - the judge said he would only be released when the parole board decided he no longer posed a threat to the public.

Trial judge Lord Beckett jailed Orman for a minimum 28 yearsTrial judge Lord Beckett jailed Orman for a minimum 28 years
Trial judge Lord Beckett jailed Orman for a minimum 28 years

He added: “The murder of Bradley Welsh was a premeditated and meticulously planned assassination - the ultimate reasons for which remain unknown to the court.

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“The degree of planning which went into this might have seen you get away with this if it weren’t for the courage of the citizens of Edinburgh coming forward to speak up about what you did.

“To shoot an unarmed man as he approached his own house was a cowardly as as a wicked thing to do. His partner and young child were inside as you ended his life apparently in the expectation of payment.

“As a result of your actions, Mr Welsh lost his life in his 40s and his family and friends lost him forever. I have read the impact of all this on his partner who describes the traumatic impact that what you did and have lost their home and no longer feel safe.

“I have listened to Mr Duguid’s submissions but there can be no mitigation for such a dreadful crime. People who go about their business each day in the streets of Scotland’s cities ought to be safe from conduct such as yours.

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“The court must do all it can to deter contract killings by imposing severe punishment.”

The verdicts came on the 12th day of proceedings against Orman who pleaded not guilty to the charges. He claimed at the time Mr Welsh died, he was riding a bike alone in Kirknewton,West Lothian.

However, police and prosecutors built a case which showed that he was the man who murdered the former boxer and who attacked Mr McMillan.

CCTV footage, eye witness testimony, forensic evidence were all used to bring Orman to justice.

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He was finally caught after driving an high powered Audi Q3 through the streets of Edinburgh at speeds exceeding 123 miles per hour. Traffic officers managed to detain him at the end of a 20 minute car ride which saw him driving on the wrong side of the road and ignoring road safety laws.

The court heard how he had been released from a five year jail term for armed robbery in the months before the murder. He was recalled to prison to serve the remaining term after being detained following the car chase.

On Friday, defence advocate Ian Duguid QC told Lord Beckett that he couldn’t offer any mitigation on behalf of his client.

The court heard that since Orman had previously served custodial sentences, there was no legal requirement for the judge to obtain reports about his background.

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Mr Duguid also said that Orman had consistently denied the allegations against him.

He told the court: "While he is 30 years of age he has spent the greater part of his adult life so far in custody.”

Orman, who wore a mask in court, looked impassive as jurors delivered their verdicts from a cinema located five miles away from the high court.

He was taken away from the dock room of court room number three to be taken to prison.

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The court heard that Orman had nine previous convictions for assault.

In August 2009, he was given a 44 month sentence for a charge of assault to severe injury and use of a knife.

He was given a five year jail term in 2015 for three charges of armed robbery. The authorities were also ordered to supervise him for two years following his release from custody.

However, he was released from that sentence on February 20 2019 - less than one month before he attacked Mr McMillan.

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On Friday, Lord Beckett told jurors after sentencing Orman that they had reached verdicts "entirely justified on the evidence you have heard".

He also told them they would be exempt from further jury duty for 10 years because of the length of the trial during the pandemic.

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