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

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Sport
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Sport
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam