Shocking moment killed biker is dragged under van by rivals for ‘wearing wrong colours’

James Cheng-Morris

·Freelance news writer, Yahoo UK

Fri, 13 January 2023 at 3:48 pm GMT

This is the shocking moment a biker is dragged under a van by a rival gang – as part of a revenge mission after the victim wore his club’s gear in their so-called territory.

The dashcam video was released by police on Friday after three men were jailed for a combined 20 years for the killing of David Crawford, 59, in May last year.

It shows Benjamin Parry, 42, speeding off a roundabout near Plymouth in his work van and into the path of the bike being ridden by Crawford.

Crawford was beside a car being driven by Chad Brading, 36, and Thomas Pawley, 32, the other two men jailed for their part in the killing which Mr Justice Garnham described as an act of “unaccountable stupidity”.

The footage shows a wide-eyed Parry frantically speaking on what appear to be Airpod-style devices.

As he approaches the bike being ridden by Crawford, Parry’s face contorts. The force of the impact as he hits Crawford then throws him back into the driver’s seat, with the van then lurching.

Crawford – described “as the life and soul of the party” and “a funny, caring and protective family man” – was subsequently dragged for hundreds of yards before being left for dead by the trio. This is not shown in the footage.

The moment Benjamin Parry hit Crawford. (PA)
The moment Benjamin Parry hit David Crawford. (PA)
David Crawford. (SWNS)
David Crawford. (SWNS)

Separate dashcam footage, meanwhile, shows the immediate aftermath – with the bike on its side and visible scrape marks on the road.

At Exeter Crown Court on Friday, Parry was jailed for 12 years having been found guilty of manslaughter at a trial at Plymouth Crown Court in November.

Brading and Pawley were given four years each, also having been found guilty of manslaughter.

The trial had heard Crawford, who was part of the Red Chiefs Motorcycle Club, had been “deliberately targeted” by the members of the rival Bandidos gang after he had been spotted wearing “colours” at a congregation on its so-called turf on a retail park in Plymouth.

It was considered “insulting” for a member of one club to ride in a rival club’s patch wearing the “colours” – that is the badges and emblems of that club.

Jailed: Thomas Pawley, Benjamin Parry and Chad Brading. (SWNS)
Jailed: Thomas Pawley, Benjamin Parry and Chad Brading. (SWNS)

Plymouth Crown Court had heard the trio set out to confront their rivals on 12 May and caught up with members of the Red Chiefs, which is affiliated to the Hells Angels, at the Tamar Bridge which links Saltash in Cornwall and Plymouth in Devon.

Crawford was seen saying farewell to his fellow members. In what the prosecution described as a “coordinated attack”, the same dashcam footage was played to the jury showing Parry’s Transit slamming into the back of the victim’s Kawasaki motorcycle on a slip road of the A38 near Plymouth.

The footage also showed a black Mercedes beside it, carrying the other two defendants who had obstructed Crawford.

The victim was initially knocked onto the bonnet and then under the van – where he was dragged before being dislodged at a slip road further down the A38.

Benjamin Parry following his arrest. (SWNS)
Benjamin Parry following his arrest. (SWNS)
Bandidos clothing. (SWNS)
Bandidos clothing. (SWNS)

Crawford was pronounced dead at the scene having suffered a “horrific” number of injuries consistent with being dragged along a road.

Prosecutor Paul Cavin said the three defendants had “worked together” through a series of calls and “signals” to hunt down the victim, and said none of them had the “decency to stop or call an ambulance”.

Sean Brunton, defending Parry, had said his client hit Crawford but claimed it was “nothing other than a spur of the moment act” and a “catastrophic error of judgement by him”.

Representatives of Pawley and Brading had previously said murder – charges for which were dropped at the trial in favour of manslaughter – was “not in the mind” of their clients at the time and did not conspire with Parry on the attack.

The damaged crash helmet worn by David Crawford. (PA)
The damaged crash helmet worn by David Crawford. (PA)

Sentencing on Friday, Mr Justice Garnham told the defendants at Exeter Crown Court: “In the infantile world of such motorcycle clubs, to ride a motorbike in a neighbouring county displaying your colours is, it seems, to cause great offence to the club that considers that county its home territory.

“You were each contacted by the ‘sergeant at arms’ of your club about the presence of these other clubs [on the retail park] and you each took to the streets of Plymouth.”

The court heard all but one of the motorbikes from the clubs (the Hells Angels and their supporters, the Red Chiefs) which had congregated were seen crossing the border into Cornwall, with Crawford heading back at toll booths back into Devon.

The judge continued: “You all agreed that the lone motorcyclist should be stopped, told it was not acceptable for him to ride in his Cornish Red Chief colours in Devon and given what is colloquially called as a ‘slap’ to underline the point.

“By a ‘slap’ I mean a punch or the like, an assault that would cause him some relatively minor injury or pain.

“Mr Crawford was utterly innocent in all this. He had just been out for a ride on his bike with friends in the motorbike clubs.

“Neither he nor his fellow bikers had done anything wrong that evening. You three had absolutely no business trying to dictate who rode their bikes in Devon or what they wore when doing so.”

A family handout photo of David Crawford. (PA)
A family handout photo of David Crawford. (PA)

He said Crawford’s family, including his wife, daughters and granddaughter, had been “devastated by his senseless killing”.

The judge, referring to mitigation for the defendants, said none of them had a history of similar offending and there was “no evidence” the Bandidos had a history of violence.

He added: “Pawley and Brading did not plan or intend what happened on this occasion. For Parry it was a moment of unaccountable stupidity.”

Det Insp Rob Smith, from Devon and Cornwall Police’s major crime investigation team, said following the sentencing: “The evidence has shown that Parry was not working alone and along with Brading and Pawley, the three men worked together in a callous and co-ordinated attack that ultimately took the life of David Crawford.

“David Crawford has been described as the life and soul of the party. A funny, caring and protective family man who was deeply loved. The impact of David’s death has been significant. These men have taken away a father, grandfather, brother and son away from his family in what was a senseless and unwarranted attack.

“I hope these sentences will provide at least some comfort that justice has been done and allow David’s family to move from this terrible incident.”

Published by anthonyhayble

I AM A PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER WHO BLOGS ON EVENTS, NEWS AND CELEBRITY ACTIVITIES. YOU WILL GET THE LATEST BLOGGING UPDATES WITH UP TO DATE NEWS AND EVENTS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU. COMMENTS AND LIKES ARE ALSO WELCOMED. I AM STILL IN THE PROCESS OF BUILDING AND UPDATING MY BLOGS AND IT WOULD BE UP AND RUNNING SHORTLY. THIS IS STILL A NEW SITE AND WILL GREATLY IMPROVE WITH TIME

%d bloggers like this: