Mum of murdered Hornchurch man searching for truth behind son’s contract killing


Rocky - Credit: Archant

The mother of a Hornchurch man gunned down by a hitman in front of his children in 2006 is still trying to trace those responsible for her son’s murder.

Candy Dawson and Carol Cunningham

Candy Dawson and Carol Cunningham - Credit: Archant

Two men, including a hired contract killer, have been convicted for murdering 24-year-old Rocky Dawson but his family believe the people who ordered the hit are still at large.

Recorder front page when Rocky Dawson was murdered.

Recorder front page when Rocky Dawson was murdered. - Credit: Archant

Mum Candy Dawson said she will never stop seeking justice.

She added: “There are still people out there walking about freely and looking forward to Christmas who were involved and know the reason why Rocky was shot dead in front of my grandchildren.

“He was the love of my life and I owe it to him even in death to continue to seek the truth.”

Rocky was shot in the back as he put his two children in his car outside his parents’ home in Ardleigh Green Road, Hornchurch, on May 2 2006.

He died at the scene.

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The electrician’s son Rocky Junior, two, and daughter of his partner, six-year-old Georgia, were unhurt in the attack at around 9pm.

The shots were from a dark-coloured 4x4 and later that evening, a blue Land Rover Freelander was discovered burnt-out in nearby Mellish Way.

Christopher Pearman, then aged 54, of Waltham Abbey, was arrested and later pleaded guilty to murder.

He was sentenced to life in 2007, with a minimum of 23 years in prison.

Professional hitman James Walter Tomkins was hunted by police after he fled abroad to the Costa Del Sol in Spain.

He was eventually traced in 2010 and sent back to the UK, where he was sentenced to a minimum 33 years in prison in April 2011.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said detectives believe more people were behind the contract killing but all lines of enquiry have been “exhausted”.

Det Insp Mark Lawson, of the homicide and major crime command, said the reason for Rocky’s murder has never been established and it could have been a case of mistaken identity.

He added: “Rocky’s life was prematurely cut short just as it had begun.

“He was a devoted father who was well-loved and respected by his friends and family.

“As Christmas approaches, Rocky’s children must again face the festive season without their father and Candy is desperate to understand exactly what happened to her son and see all those responsible behind bars.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or the incident room on 020 8358 0200.