Lawyer says Bradley Welsh shooting bore 'the hallmarks of organised crime'
The lawyer for the man accused of murdering T2 Trainspotting actor Bradley Welsh has told jurors how the shooting has all “the hallmarks of organised crime.”
Advocate Ian Duguid QC told jurors on Thursday how his client Sean Orman, 30, was involved in crime and had been involved in resetting stolen cars for money
But Mr Duguid told the High Court in Edinburgh that Orman wasn’t responsible for killing Bradley Welsh, 48, outside his home in Edinburgh two years ago.
And he said that Orman didn’t try to kill 50-year-old David McMillan at the businessman’s home at Pitcairn Grove, Edinburgh, March 2019.
He told jurors that the people involved in the case were also involved in gangland activities.
Mr Duguid said: “This case is quite unusual. It has attracted some publicity perhaps it’s because of the identity of the deceased.
“In a case of that type perhaps you might be swayed by extracts or what you see on television and the like but you shouldn’t be swayed by that.
“This is a case which has a background to it - a background to which you and I are unfamiliar. The suggestion is that an assassin or a hitman has been hired for money first of all to attack Mr McMillan and then to attack the deceased Mr Welsh.
“It has the hallmarks of organised crime.”
Mr Duguid was addressing the jury on the 11th day of proceedings against his client, who denies murdering Welsh on April 17 2019 outside his home in Chester Street, Edinburgh,.
In his closing address to the jurors, Mr Duguid said Mr McMillan couldn’t identify his client as the man who attacked him when when he was giving evidence.
He added: “He said ‘this was not the man who attacked me.’ It was positive evidence that Sean Orman was not the man who attacked him.”
Mr Duguid also made reference to evidence given by Mr McMillan’s son, also David. The court heard that Welsh phoned Mr McMillan jnr following the attack on his father and advised him to remove the SIM card from his dad’s phone.
Mr Duguid tehn made reference to evidence about what police found in Welsh’s house.
He added: “Remember the response of Bradley Welsh - ‘turn it off take the chip out’. Why do you think Bradley Welsh was saying that?
“This is the same Bradley Welsh who was driving around his car with cable ties, a false number plate and a knife at the passenger side door.
“This is the same Bradley Welsh who has covert body armour and a baton inside his house.”
Earlier in the day, prosecutor Richard Goddard QC urged jurors to convict Orman saying that killed Mr Welsh in a “cowardly” and “absolutely outrageous” attack.
Mr Goddard also said Orman was responsible for assaulting Mr McMillan.
He spoke of how the jurors had seen video recordings of police chasing Orman at speeds of up to 123 mph through the streets of Edinburgh in the days following the attack.
Mr Goddard said jurors should consider Orman’s behaviour in this chase.
He added: “Sean Orman was willing to go to any lengths, putting lives at risk, to avoid capture by the police”.
The court heard that forensic scientists found firearms discharge residue in the pockets of jogging bottoms belonging to Mr Orman.
The scientists concluded that quantities of the residue were so great that they must have been placed there as a consequence of coming into contact with a firearm that had gone off.
He said evidence given by a witness called Dean White also showed Orman’s guilt. Mr White said Orman showed him a shotgun which matched descriptions given by witnesses of the weapon used by Welsh’s assassin.
Mr White also told the court how Orman accidentally fired the gun into a property in Duddingston, Edinburgh. Mr Goddard said police found the shot whilst searching the house and material from it matched samples found in Welsh’s body.
The lawyer also spoke of how a shotgun recovered from a property in Lanarkshire matched descriptions given by witnesses. Mr Goddard said the accused had been in contact with the man who lived at the property via WhatsApp.
Mr Goddard also said that witnesses spoke of how the assassin was tanned - and that Orman had repeatedly visited tanning salons in the days before Mr Welsh’s death.
The lawyer also said Orman had admitted ‘making up’ an alibi that at the time Welsh died, he was riding a motorbike.
Urging jurors to convict Orman, Mr Goddard said: “Mr Orman spent time after time trying to avoid answering questions and if pressed put the wealth of evidence against him down to coincidence and bad luck.
“You were also left with an extraordinary passage of evidence in which the accused claims to have made up his first defence to the charge lodged in court papers at this court in June of last year.
“He made up a story to his lawyers that he was on a motorbike heading for East Calder.
“He said he lied to his own lawyers as a scheme because he wanted to reveal his true defence at the last minute.
“You might find all of this to be a bizarre claim. Maybe it’s just that after two years, he didn’t know what he was going to say his defence to all of this was.”
Orman has pleaded not guilty to a charge to attempting to murder David McMillan,50, by striking him on the head and body with a machete at 1 Pitcairn Grove, Edinburgh, on March 13 2019.
He also maintains his innocence in relation to a claim that he shot Welsh dead at his home in Chester Street, Edinburgh, on April 17 2019.
The trial, before Lord Beckett, continues on Friday.