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

The shotgun used to shoot boxing gym boss Bradley Welsh on his own doorstep could be 130 years old, an expert told a jury yesterday.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 7:53 pm

Martin Connolly, 57, told prosecution lawyer Richard Goddard QC the weapon may have been made by a Belgian firm in 1890.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard the sawn-off shotgun had been recovered from a shed in Lanarkshire in June 2020

Mr Connolly, a forensic scientist, found that only one of the barrels could be used because of its age.

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The court heard Bradley Welsh died from a “single penetrating hole to the right side” of his head.

He said: “I would say it was an old gun. It’s been produced in Belgium - significant numbers of this type of shotgun were made by the Belgians

“And it was made sometime between 1890 to 1960 - 1960 was the last time these shotguns were manufactured.”

Mr Connolly was giving evidence against Sean Orman, 30, who denies murdering Welsh at his home in Edinburgh on April 17 2019.

He told the court that the shotgun was of a ‘worn’ condition and ‘commensurate’ with its age and both barrels had been shortened ‘for concealment’.

Killed by shotgun blast - Bradley Welsh

Mr Connolly said it was ‘possible’ that the same type of gun fired at a flat in Duddingston Row in Edinburgh was used to kill Welsh.

Mr Connolly conducted examinations of ammunition found within Welsh’s body and studied the remains of ammunition found at a flat in Duddingston Row and from a property at Hawkhill Close, Edinburgh.

Last week, jurors in the case heard evidence from Dean White who said that he witnessed Orman blast a shotgun into the floor of his brother’s home in Duddingston Row.

Mr Goddard asked “When we draw the threads of all that together, one explanation for all these is the same type of gun and ammunition were used to shoot Bradley Welsh and the floor in Duddingston Row and that the cartridges at Hawkhill Close were the same type and manufacture of cartridge used to shoot both Bradley Welsh and the floor at Duddingston Row?”

Mr Connolly replied: “Yes. That’s possible.”

Mr Connolly also told the court that Welsh died from a “single penetrating hole to the right side” of his head.

Orman denies gunning down Welsh and 14 other charges, including a machete attack at an address in Oxgangs, motoring offences, possessing controlled drugs and breaching firearms legislation..

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

Earlier the court heard that when detained by officers after a 123mph pursuit he was taken into custody and spat out a Kinder egg containing heroin worth £1,000.

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

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

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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