Firearms discharge residue found on alleged gunman's trackies 'similar' to substance found on Bradley Welsh

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Tracksuit bottoms seized from the man who allegedly murdered Trainspotting star Bradley Welsh had ‘firearms discharge residue’ which was ‘similar in composition’ to the type found on the actor’s body.

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Forensic scientist Laura Wilcock, 43, told lawyers how she was tasked with examining clothing taken from 30-year-old Sean Orman two years ago.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how police obtained the black North Face trousers after arresting him on April 22 2019. Mr Orman had been wearing the joggers at the time he was arrested.

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Ms Wilcock told the court that she looked for firearms discharge residue - a substance which comes from guns which have been fired.

The court heard how the residue can be deposited on the hands and clothes of people who have used the weapons. The substance can also be found on people who have been shot.

Ms Wilcock, who works for the Scottish Police Authority, said she found firearms discharge residue on Mr Welsh.

She also found the residue in the pockets of Mr Orman’s jogging bottoms and in a black and grey holdall.

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Bradley WelshBradley Welsh
Bradley Welsh

Ms Wilcock said the samples of residue were “similar in composition” to each other.

Read More
Shotgun found by Bradley Welsh detectives could date from 19th century

When prosecution lawyer Richard Goddard QC asked how the residue could find themselves on the items, Ms Wilcock read from a report which she had prepared.

She said: “This would be the result of this item having had contact with a source of percussion primer firearm discharge residue.

“Sources might be, for example, being in the vicinity of a discharging weapon, contact with a recently discharged weapon or a cartridge or a combination of these.”

Ms Wilcock was giving evidence on the eighth day of proceedings against Mr Orman, of Edinburgh. He denies murdering Mr Welsh on April 17 2019 and other charges.

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Prosecutors claim Mr Orman killed Mr Welsh who won praise after he played 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.

Outside of acting, Mr Welsh, a Hibs fan, ran a boxing gym in the Scottish capital and had been offering programs to help kids stay out of trouble.

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

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Before taking up acting, Mr Welsh was also an amateur British lightweight boxing champion.

On Friday, Mr Goddard spoke about evidence which had previously been heard by jurors.

Witness Dean White told jurors last week how Mr Orman produced an ‘old style’ shotgun from a holdall at his brother’s flat. Mr White told the court that Mr Orman fired the gun into the floor at the property.

Mr Goddard asked whether a possible explanation for the firearms discharge residue found in the holdall to have came from a gun being kept in the bag.

Ms Wilcock said: “Yes. It is possible.”

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Earlier, forensic scientist Martin Connolly,57, gave evidence for the second day.

He had told the court yesterday how a shotgun he examined could have been made in Belgium in the late 19th century.

However, he said it was not possible to “forensically identify” whether the double-barrelled shotgun he examined was used to kill Mr Welsh.

Defence advocate Ian Duguid QC said: “The process you undertook couldn’t identify distinguishing marks from the roof of Mr Welsh’s mouth and the wadding that was subject to your test fire.

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“That is the reason you can’t say, presumably, this was the gun used to shoot Bradley Welsh?”

Mr Connolly replied: “Yes.”

Jurors heard that it was ‘possible’ the same type of gun fired at a property in Edinburgh was used to kill Mr Welsh.

Mr Connolly said on Thursday that examinations of discharged ammunition found in a flat on Duddingston Row, Edinburgh, and during Mr Welsh’s post-mortem examination showed they were “indistinguishable”.

The court was then told that cartridges found at another property in the city were similar to those fired at Mr Welsh and in the Duddingston Row flat.

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Mr Orman, pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering Mr Welsh and 14 other charges.

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

Prosecutors claim that on March 13 2019, at 1 Pitcairn Grove, Edinburgh, Mr 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.

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It’s also alleged on the same date at the same location Mr 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 the same date, the Crown claims that Mr Orman did “with intent” to conceal his “guilt” in respect of his alleged attempted murder of Mr McMillan, by setting fire to an Audi A5 car.

It’s claimed he did this “in an attempt to destroy evidence and to avoid detection and prosecution” for the alleged assaults on both Mr McMillans.

On April 17 2019, at 3a Chester Street, Edinburgh, prosecutors claim Mr Orman murdered Mr Welsh by firing a shotgun at him.

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The Crown allege that on April 22 2019, on the A720 City of Edinburgh bypass, Mr 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, Mr Orman drove at speeds up to 123 miles per hour in a 70mph zone.

Prosecutors say in this charge that Mr 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 claim that Mr 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”.

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The charge also states that in Dundee Terrace, Mr Orman is alleged to have driven 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.

His legal team have lodged two special defences to the court.

In relation to the alleged assaults on the McMillans, Mr Orman claims a man called Michael Sutherland “and others.. unknown” were responsible for the alleged attacks.

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Mr 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, before Lord Beckett, continues.

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