Motorbike gang killed rival Hell's Angel after spotting him entering their turf

29 November 2022, 13:34 | Updated: 29 November 2022, 14:47

Grandfather David Crawford (l) was killed by rival motorbike gang Benjamin Parry (top), Chad Brading (bottom left) and Thomas Pawley (bottom right)
Grandfather David Crawford (l) was killed by rival motorbike gang Benjamin Parry (top), Chad Brading (bottom left) and Thomas Pawley (bottom right). Picture: Devon and Cornwall police

By Stephen Rigley

A motorbike gang killed a member of a rival group by smashing into the back of his bike and dragging his body for nearly a mile.

David Crawford, 59, was riding on the St Budeaux slip road by the A38 in Plymouth on May 12 when he was sighted by three members of the international Bandidos motorbike club wearing rival club colours.

Plymouth Crown Court was told that Mr Crawford, a member of Red Chiefs bike club affiliated to Hell's Angels, had been wearing his badges and insignia on a "rival patch" which is considered "bad form by a country mile".

David Crawford
David Crawford. Picture: Devon and Cornwall Police

Prosecutor Paul Cavin KC told the jury that the trio had been "working together" when they "deliberately targeted" Mr Crawford.

 At around 8.40pm, Parry ploughed into and killed Mr Crawford as he made his way home to Ivybridge, Devon, the court heard.

'Brutal' inward and outward dashcam from Parry's van, showed the collision which saw Mr Crawford being thrown up into the air.

His body was then trapped under the van which drove off down the slip road, on to the A38 and only dislodged when Parry turned off on to the next slip road at Devonport, the jury was told. 

Mr Crawford, a grandfather, died at the scene from his injuries despite the efforts of a passing female paramedic and other drivers.

Benjamin Parry
Benjamin Parry. Picture: Devon and Cornwall Police
Thomas Pawley
Thomas Pawley. Picture: Devon and Cornwall Police
Chad Brading
Chad Brading. Picture: Devon and Cornwall Police

Parry, a former member of the Royal Engineers and now a jet vacuum engineer, accelerated from 17mph to 28mph as he hit Mr Crawford, the court heard.

Parry, of Devonport, told police: "I did not intend to knock the motorcyclist off his bike. I did not intend to kill him or cause him any injury.

"I only intended to bump the back of his bike. When I realised I had knocked him off the bike I panicked and drove on.'I did not realise he was still under the van until he fell free of the van as I pulled off the Parkway.

"But towards the end of the trial Parry admitted the manslaughter of Mr Crawford - a plea rejected by the prosecution - but he was convicted of that charge by the jury.

After Parry struck the biker, the Mercedes carrying Thomas Pawley, 32, a former Royal Navy sailor, and Chad Brading, 36, a member of the Parachute regiment who served in Afghanistan and in private military close protection, drove off at speed in front of the van, the court heard.

Responding to the verdicts Pawley, of Ivybridge looked over at the jury shaking his head. Brading, of Devonport, looked down, similarly shaking his head.

All three men will be sentenced in the New Year.