Murdered T2 Trainspotting star Bradley Welsh would “still be alive today” if police had warned him his life was in danger, his brother said last night.
Sean Welsh claimed the force had “blood on its hands” over the failure to tell Bradley he was being targeted as part of a gangland feud.
Speaking out for the first time, Sean told the Record that Bradley would “still be alive today” if the information had been acted on.
And with the third anniversary of the slaying this month, Sean said senior officers still haven’t disclosed why no warning was given.
He believes Police Scotland may be “covering up” a decision not to inform the ex-boxing champ that he was in the firing line.
Sean said a report compiled by the police watchdog into the matter is long completed but the Crown Office are blocking its release while prosecutors ponder their own investigation.
Bradley, 49, was shot dead outside his home in Edinburgh’s New Town on April 17, 2019, by Sean Orman, who was paid £10,000.
It emerged during Orman’s trial last year that witness Dean White had told police three times about an underworld scheme to gun Welsh down.
Sean, 55, was left “stunned” after hearing evidence that White was interviewed about the tip at Craigmillar police station a month before the shooting.
The dad of two pointed out that the Holyrood Boxing Gym run by his brother was 150m (165yds) from the station.
I added: “Why didn’t they send someone up the road to tell Brad? They had a whole month. Now three years have passed and they still can’t tell us why that didn’t happen.
“Brad’s daughter would ask me, ‘Why didn’t the police help my daddy?’ and I’ve got no answers to give her. It’s a disgrace.”
Sean said his brother did not receive a Threat To Life Warning – known as an Osman letter – issued to someone if police learn their life is endangered.
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The trial heard that White twice called police on March 18, 2019, to tell them about the murder plot.
White was in a flat in Duddingston, Edinburgh, when Orman, 31, boasted of having a contract to execute Welsh, a former Hibs casual turned charity campaigner, and showed him the shotgun.
Quizzed by cops two days later, White repeated the details, naming the gangster who put out the contract, and armed response officers swooped on the city flat in the hunt for Orman.
White, who died earlier this year, aged 50, while in witness protection in East Sussex, told the jury: “I told them everything that was going to happen to Brad Welsh and if they acted on it then he wouldn’t be dead. ”
Sean said: “White told the police explicitly. They knew it was relevant because they staged the armed raid so they believed White’s information. If the police gave Brad an Osman, I’m 100 per cent certain he’d be alive today.
“Brad would’ve been more cautious and varied his routine. He might have asked a pal to accompany him.
“In fact, he probably would’ve tried to contact the person threatening him to talk it out peacefully.
“CCTV showed Brad leaving his gym…not even looking around. Then Orman arrives in a car a half hour later, just missing him.
“In the minutes before he was shot, Brad chatted outside to a neighbour. He’d have no idea he was in danger. To me, the police have blood on their hands.”
The trial heard Orman was paid to carry out the killing on the orders of a gangland figure associated with the Lyons clan. The hit was part of a feud between that paymaster and cocaine kingpin Mark Richardson, 35, who is linked to the rival Daniels crew.
Orman was also convicted of the attempted murder of Brad’s pal David McMillan, 51, with a machete at his Morningside home on March 13, 2019.
Sean said: “After Davie was attacked, Brad didn’t think he was in danger. Brad wasn’t involved in criminality. He was targeted because he was old pals with Mark and he was high profile.
“By failing to warn him, police took his opportunity to protect himself and failed to follow their own procedures.”
After the trial, Sean lodged a complaint with Police Scotland about its handling of White’s intelligence.
Sean said he was informed they couldn’t discuss it because it was being probed by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC).
He said: “I met with PIRC in Glasgow. Their investigation is finished but the results have not been disclosed to our family or the public.
“They’re being stopped by the Crown Office, who are looking at carrying out their own investigation.
“We’re not getting answers from the police, PIRC or the Crown. It shouldn’t take three years. We have had enough. It’s cover-up after cover-up.”
Sean, of Edinburgh, isn’t sure if the failure to warn Brad was due to “incompetence” or “corruption”.
He added: “There are officers who knew Brad for years and hated him. It might have been incompetence, it might have been a case of ‘screw Brad’.
“It may have been a mistake. A piece of paper left on a desk. Someone going off sick. Whatever it was, it led to the loss of someone’s life.
“Incompetence isn’t an excuse. If they’re that thick they shouldn’t be in the police. There should be a fatal accident inquiry so everything can come out.”
Sean, who retired last year from his job with Scottish Power, said his brother was in a “good place” at the time of his death.
He said: “He was fit and healthy. He had his daughter from him, his gym from him. He was… looking to the future.
“He was getting involved in more and more charity work, especially for underprivileged kids. Unless you did him a bad turn, he was pals with you forever.”
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A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “We have received a complaint which is still being investigated. We will respond in due course.”
A PIRC spokeswoman said: “Following our investigation, a report was submitted to COPFS in December 2019. As this was a COPFS instructed investigation it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment further.”
The Crown Office said: “COPFS has received a report from the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner and it is under consideration by the Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit.
“The investigation is ongoing and the family will continue to be kept updated in relation to any significant developments.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.