Man accused of murdering actor said ‘it’s all going to kick off’, trial told

Conor Riordan, PA Scotland
·3-min read

A man accused of murdering a T2 Trainspotting actor said in a message to a childhood friend “it was all going to kick off” in the days before the fatal shooting, a court has heard.

Bradley Welsh, 48, was fatally shot at his flat in the west end of Edinburgh on April 17 2019.

Sean Orman, 30, has pleaded not guilty to all 15 charges against him, including murder, attempted murder, firearms and drugs offences, and is on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Giving evidence on Wednesday, Levi Begg said she started to be in regular contact with Orman again in February 2019, although they had known each other from school.

The 30-year-old dental nurse gave police a statement on April 25 2019 in which she told officers about a WhatsApp message she received from Orman on April 15 that year.

Richard Goddard QC, advocate depute, said: “In the message, he said he was sick of being taken for a mug and it was all going to kick off.”

Ms Begg said she did not “recall those messages from two years ago” but agreed she would have said that to officers.

The witness also said she was called by Orman at around 8.45pm on April 17 2019 and he asked if she could collect him from the Kirknewton area of West Lothian.

He was said to have a small black bag with him at the time.

She told the court the pair talked about what they had been doing that day but could not remember the details.

Ms Begg said Orman asked to use her phone to make a call despite having his own available, but she did not know who he contacted.

It was heard Ms Begg took a wrong turn and ended up in a car park in the Balerno area of Edinburgh, where Orman “chucked” away another phone which she assumed was not working.

This was not mentioned to officers in her first three statements and the location of the stop-off was only revealed after she was notified by police her vehicle’s journey had been tracked.

Ms Begg said she had forgotten about the car park.

Bradley Welsh shooting scene
Floral tributes were left to Bradley Welsh near the scene of his shooting (PA)

The court was then told Orman had been trying to remove the Sim card from the phone before putting it down a drain.

Mr Goddard showed the witness a series of scrambled and unscrambled WhatsApp messages between the two, which had been sent in October 2020 when Orman was in custody.

The messages from Orman included the words shotgun, handgun, DNA, kill and arrested.

One unscrambled message was interpreted as saying “terrible piece of evidence”.

Ms Begg said she did not know what the messages were about but confirmed Orman later apologised for getting her involved in the inquiry.

She said: “Just that he’s sorry for dragging my family through it.

“Being involved, getting police coming to my house and stuff like that.”

Mr Goddard asked whether this was him accepting responsibility.

She said: “No, he’s always said that he didn’t do it.”

Meanwhile, the court was shown footage of a pursuit said to involve Orman driving an Audi around Edinburgh at excessive speeds in the early hours of April 22 2019.

The recording shows the vehicle pulling over on the A720 and Pc Paul McNiven exiting his vehicle to approach the suspect before the target car speeds off.

The subsequent pursuit saw the vehicle travel at speeds of up to 123mph on the Edinburgh City Bypass as well as over 90mph in residential areas.

Footage from the police vehicle shows the car said to be driven by Orman on the wrong side of the road and going the opposite way around roundabouts.

The car was eventually stopped by a “stinger” after a pursuit lasting around 20 minutes.

Pc McNiven said Orman was arrested on suspicion of failing to stop for police.

The trial, before judge Lord Beckett, continues on Thursday.