Two members of a motorcycle club that supports the Hells Angels and who were convicted of assaulting and threatening a man have now been held liable for civil damages.
Allen William Lowe and Shawn Leon Mansfield, members of the Archrivals motorcycle club in the Elk Valley area of B.C., were among a group of men who pleaded guilty to assaulting Ryan Thatcher on Nov. 1, 2016.
Court heard that Thatcher was sitting in his vehicle in Elkford when two or three vehicles parked behind him and a group of eight to 10 men got out and surrounded his vehicle.
Members of the group opened Thatcher’s door and accused him of being seen wearing a Hells Angels vest and patch, an accusation that he denied.
Some of the group were wearing black gloves and holding various weapons, including a collapsible baton, brass knuckles, knives and a baseball bat.
A member of the group undid Thatcher’s seatbelt and smacked a cellphone out of his hand. An attempt was made to pull him out of the vehicle and he was punched.
Thatcher was told that the Edmonton, Calgary and Kelowna Hells Angels knew who he was and had his picture. He was also told the notorious motorcycle gang had his name and were coming after him.
Members of the group also said: “Let’s just bust his teeth out right here. Let’s teach — let’s teach this guy a lesson. You know what this is about. If you don’t give us the vest we’re going to f..k you up.”
Lowe and Mansfield received a 15-month conditional sentence and 12 months of probation.
The Crown applied for a restitution order after Thatcher claimed he had lost several months wages but the judge declined to make the order, noting there was no medical evidence that Thatcher was disabled from working and that he could pursue his claim civilly.
Thatcher filed a lawsuit against the defendants seeking damages under several headings, including assault, battery and false imprisonment. He sought a finding that they were liable for their actions.
Despite their guilty pleas in the criminal case, Lowe and Mansfield denied any involvement in the events at issue and claimed it would be inappropriate and unfair to grant judgment on liability without allowing them to present their evidence at trial.
But in his ruling, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Leonard Marchand found that they had “carefully and deliberately” entered guilty pleas understanding that, in addition to their sentences, they may also be held civilly liable.
“It would wholly undermine the administration of justice to permit Mr. Lowe and Mr. Mansfield to derive the substantial benefits of their guilty pleas and then permit them to resile from their unequivocal admissions in these proceedings.”
The amount of damages will be assessed at another court appearance.
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