Friday 27 April 2018

Former Brookside star on murder charge denies ‘acting’ in police interviews

Mike Hornby and Paul Keaveny

FORMER Brookside star Brian Regan has denied putting on an act when he was accused of helping to organise an underworld shooting.

Regan, who appeared as Terry Sullivan in the Channel 4 soap, is accused of being the driver for an alleged gunman who killed Bahman Faraji, 44, in Liverpool last February.

Mr Faraji, a father of one, was shot at close range as he stood outside the Belgrave Arms pub in Aigburth.

Regan denies murder at Liverpool Crown Court alongside Edward Heffey, 40, Lee Dodson, 42 and Simon Smart, 32, all from Liverpool.

On his second day of giving evidence, the actor was cross- examined today by Stephen Riordan QC, defending alleged gunman Heffey.

Mr Riordan asked Regan about police interviews, during which he tried to stop officers finding out that he was selling drugs.

The barrister said: "You portray yourself as a hopeless drug addict who comes across quite bumbling, don't you?"

Regan, wearing a grey shirt and black trousers in the witness box, replied: "That's the way I was."

Mr Riordan went on: "But in fact you were quite canny and cunning. You knew the police were on to you so you took steps to ensure you would not be caught dealing."

Regan, the father of three daughters, said it was co-accused Dodson who was running the drug-dealing operation.

He had earlier told the jury he had taken Heffey to the area of the murder that night, but as far as he knew it was so that Heffey could collect money to pay for cocaine.

Regan admitted being a regular cocaine user and said he funded his habit by dealing and delivering drugs on behalf of Dodson.

When the murder took place he was on bail for separate drugs offences.

Prosecutor Brian Cummings QC previously told the jury that Mr Faraji was killed by Heffey after Dodson enlisted Regan to act as the driver.

The shooting was orchestrated "at a distance" by Smart acting on the orders of another man, Mr Cummings said.

Liverpool-based Brookside began on the launch night of Channel 4 on November 2 1982, and ran for 21 years until November 2003.

The soap opera, noted for confronting gritty issues, turned scores of actors into household names, including Sue Johnson, Amanda Burton and Anna Friel.

The drama also provided some of British television's most memorable moments, such as the first pre-watershed lesbian kiss and the infamous body under the patio at Number 10.

Regan told the jury yesterday he was cast in the soap after leaving school with "just a couple" of CSEs and volunteering at the Liverpool Playhouse Youth Theatre.

He joined Brookside from episode six and his Terry Sullivan character was at the centre of some of the Close's most dramatic storylines until his final appearance in 1997.

Regan said he was in Brookside when he began taking cocaine but never used the drug while he was working.

He briefly worked as a presenter on Sky Sports Soccer AM but that came to an end when he suffered a heart attack shortly after his 45th birthday.

Regan admitted it became difficult to fund his cocaine habit and he moved into supplying, mixing and bagging the drugs at home, taking orders and looking after the "tick list" - the accounts of the dealing operation.

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