Perth, WA: Meth accused Ashley David Crawford’s bikie links revealed

A West Australian father who police say left his three-year-old child in the car while trying to recover methamphetamine from a 15kg stash buried in Mandurah bushland has been revealed to be the son of a lifetime member of the Coffin Cheaters bikie gang.

Ashley David Crawford, 30, faced Perth Magistrates Court on Friday via video link from Hakea Prison for a bail application hearing.

His lawyer Vesna Amidzic told the court that her client, who police claim is a known associate of the outlaw motorcycle gang, also had a brother who was a member and another brother who was a former member – adding their father had died about 15 years ago.

Police prosecutors also told the court that Mr Crawford’s listed address was the Coffin Cheaters’ Bunbury clubhouse, where Mr Crawford has been a caretaker “from time to time”.

However, it was also noted that he wasn’t a member.

Ms Amidzic argued the police case was entirely circumstantial, with no evidence her client had recovered any concealed drugs.

Police facts stated a tracking device had been placed on a white Great Wall ute belonging to Mr Crawford on August 30.

Police say the same car was spotted entering bushland in the Stake Hill area on September 6, with officers finding the drugs and replacing them with “an inert substance” two days later.

Police allege that on September 12, Mr Crawford attended the spot with a shovel and green Woolworths reusable shopping bag and ran from police as he tried to remove a 1kg packet of the fake meth from the reburied stash.

It was discovered soon after that Mr Crawford had left his three-year-old daughter in his car during the alleged incident.

But his lawyer on Friday argued there was no evidence her client had removed anything from the earth, as covert cameras at the scene only captured footage of a man, believed to be Mr Crawford, from the waist up.

A police detective in court conceded any DNA evidence tying the accused to the allegations would take “some time” to be ready.

Mr Crawford’s five charges include possession of a trafficable quantity of meth, possession of smaller amounts of dexamphetamine and cocaine, possession of stolen goods, and possession of ammunition.

The court on Friday was told that Mr Crawford, a motor mechanic by trade, had no prior criminal record aside from some traffic matters.

He’s also the sole guardian of his daughter and spends much of his time travelling between Mandurah and Bunbury.

The magistrate adjourned the matter until Tuesday in order to consider submissions.

Mr Crawford is also due back in the same court for a police committal mention hearing on December 5 in which it’s been indicated he’ll enter pleas of not guilty.

Police estimate the drugs found buried at Stake Hill are worth about $15m.

Investigations into a further 12kg of meth buried in bushland in the northern Perth suburb of Dianella are ongoing.

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