Man guilty of golf course murder

A 21-year-old man has been found guilty of murdering a man whose badly burned body was found on a golf course.







The body of Stefan Welch, 36, was discovered between the 17th and 18th holes at Dyke Golf Club on the outskirts of Brighton, East Sussex, on September 4 last year.



The heroin addict had suffered "catastrophic brain trauma" caused by a heavy blunt object and probably died in less than an hour, the three-week trial at Lewes Crown Court heard.



Jurors took around five hours to find Sean Iran guilty of murdering Mr Welch along with a charge of perverting the course of justice.



His co-defendants, his father, Babak Iran, 44, and brother, Navid Iran, 23, were both found guilty of a charge of perverting the course of justice after jurors heard that they helped try to eliminate evidence of the crime.



The judge, Mr Justice Nicol, had to order members of Mr Welch's family to be quiet when they shouted out from the public gallery as the guilty verdicts were read out.



The three men did not show any emotion and were remanded in custody until 2pm when the judge will decide whether to sentence them or adjourn to another date.

















During the trial jurors heard that a golfer found Mr Welch's body as he went to fetch a stray ball from bushes.



Malcolm McNeil and his friends had been the first to tee off that morning and they were coming to the end of the 18-hole round when he hit his ball into bushes.



As he went to retrieve it he noticed there had been a fire before spotting Mr Welch's charred remains, the court heard.



Mr McNeil, a former teacher, told jurors he was shocked when he later found out the dead man's identity as he had taught Mr Welch when he was aged nine or 10.



Prosecutor Philip Katz QC said Mr Welch had been killed at the house where the three men lived in St Richard's Road, Portslade, before his body was moved to the golf course, doused with petrol and set alight.



Jurors heard that CCTV footage showed cafe owner Babak Iran filling his car with diesel at the BP garage in Kingsway, Hove, after the killing.



Navid Iran filled a green plastic canister with petrol before they paid and drove off in the 4x4 vehicle.



Mr Katz said they then helped Sean Iran remove all traces of the murder from their home before disposing of the body at the golf course.



The same 4x4 was later detected by a police automatic number plate recognition camera near the golf course, the court heard.



Jurors were told that Mr Welch had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction throughout his adult life, which had brought him into contact with police.



The day before he died, he had spoken to his probation officer about his drugs debts and revealed that he had been threatened over them.



During his own evidence Sean Iran told jurors he had nothing to do with Mr Welch's death, saying they were actually close friends and he had been trying to help him kick his heroin habit.



He said he had called Mr Welch his "guardian angel" ever since they had met when he rescued him from being attacked by four men when they were in Lewes Prison in 2008.



The court heard that Sean Iran, who admitted he smoked £20 to £30 worth of cannabis a day to ease his own symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia, depression and anxiety, had serious drugs debts of his own.



He had met Mr Welch while on remand before being jailed for two years in August 2008 for a charge of robbery and one of causing actual bodily harm to a 15-year-old boy.



The court heard that the defendant is also on the sex offenders register for a sexual assault on a 15-year-old girl.









The judge said he would sentence the three men at 4pm

Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voices

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
art
News
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee
people

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London