News

EXCLUSIVE: Dave Courtney confesses to killing drug-dealing rival and says gangster who tried to murder him ‘is on a missing person’s list’ in unseen 2006 interview


Notorious hardman Dave Courtney admitted to killing a drug-dealing rival and claimed a hitman who tried to murder him is on a missing person list in a previously unseen candid interview from 2006.

The infamous gangster-turned-celebrity, 64, was found dead in his home with a shot wound to his head yesterday morning. This morning family released a statement, revealing that Courtney had been battling cancer and had made the decision to ‘stop the ride’.

While Scotland Yard said last night that its investigating the ‘unexplained death’, his family said ‘the physical pain of living the lifestyle he chose, especially due to the pain of both cancer and arthritis in his later years, became too much’.

In a video, shared exclusively with MailOnline today, the reformed criminal delved into his life, talking about everything from growing up in Bermondsey in south London with his ‘Scout leader’ parents to the multiple run-ins he had with the law.

Speaking in an interview with presenter Tim Shaw, for a pilot episode of the unaired show called the White Room, Courtney claimed he killed somebody after a he said a drug dealing rival tried to murder him while working in Holland. 

‘The person who done it, I will never, ever know,’ he said. ‘The person who ordered him to do it, is on the missing person list.’

Notorious hardman Dave Courtney died aged 64 yesterday from suicide after suffering with cancer, his family revealed this morning

Notorious hardman Dave Courtney died aged 64 yesterday from suicide after suffering with cancer, his family revealed this morning 

Throughout the unseen footage Courtney admitted to killing a drug-dealing rival and claimed a hitman who tried to murder him is on a missing person list, in a previously unseen candid interview from 2006

Throughout the unseen footage Courtney admitted to killing a drug-dealing rival and claimed a hitman who tried to murder him is on a missing person list, in a previously unseen candid interview from 2006

Speaking in the previously unseen interview with presenter Tim Shaw back in 2006, for a pilot episode of the unaired show called the White Room, Courtney spoke of his attempted murder while working in Holland

Speaking in the previously unseen interview with presenter Tim Shaw back in 2006, for a pilot episode of the unaired show called the White Room, Courtney spoke of his attempted murder while working in Holland

The sentence 'What are you f***ing lookin' at' is etched on the roof of Courtney's home and is visible in a Google Map view

The sentence ‘What are you f***ing lookin’ at’ is etched on the roof of Courtney’s home and is visible in a Google Map view 

Asked whether he had ever killed anyone, he said ‘I am afraid I have’ but added ‘I don’t actually consider myself a murderer’. 

‘My job in short was standing beside somebody in a foreign country who had a load of money and I was supposed to look as scary as possible so he wouldn’t get robbed,’ he said in the interview.

‘I obviously didn’t do my job properly and as they were talking they shot him. […] I had never seen a dead boy or a person dying.’ 

The shooter then pulled out the gun, aiming at Courtney, he said, and he shot him in the forehead before fleeing. 

Courtney goes on to speak about the most violent nights of his life, admitting he had ‘a few of them’.

‘The most painful was actually an afternoon and I had my nose bitten off. There is not the words in the dictionary made for me to tell you what that felt like,’ he said. 

The fight erupted between Courtney, referred to as ‘the criminal of the underworld’, and the drugs dealer allegedly erupted in a nightclub.

‘We were both pretty good fighters – he was a lot heavier than me – my plan was as soon as I see him on site pull out both busters and turn the geezer into a blancmange,’ he said.

‘He was getting out my hands and then he looked at me and said “sorry Dave” and I said “sorry what” and he bit on my nose. It was like an electric shock’. 

Dave Courtney pictured outside his 'Camelot Castle' home in October 2022. A lodger found him dead in his bed with a pillow over his face

Dave Courtney pictured outside his ‘Camelot Castle’ home in October 2022. A lodger found him dead in his bed with a pillow over his face

The Metropolitan Police said it was called to a property on Chestnut Rise, in Plumstead, south-east London, and is investigating the 'unexpected' death. No arrests have been made

The Metropolitan Police said it was called to a property on Chestnut Rise, in Plumstead, south-east London, and is investigating the ‘unexpected’ death. No arrests have been made 

Courtney watches his beloved Charlton Athletic beat Reading 4-0 at The Valley in what would be his last social media post

Courtney watches his beloved Charlton Athletic beat Reading 4-0 at The Valley in what would be his last social media post 

Courtney was one of Britain’s best-known gangsters and made a name for himself through his affiliation with famous London East End hardmen such as the Krays, Roy Shaw and Lenny McLean.

Presenter Tim Shaw decided to release the footage to MailOnline in the wake of Courtney’s said suicide.

‘Dave was sharp, quick witted and a great story teller. He was such an easy person to interview on the radio and he would have countless stories about the underworld of London,’ Tim, who now presents for National Geographic and Disney+, said last night.

‘He was the most connected gangster and there was a line you would not cross with him. He respected manners and there was a code of respect that you had had to understand and appreciate to work with him.

‘Although he was a scary man in many people’s eyes – and I am sure some people will wildly disagree – he was a very generous man to people he liked.’ 

‘Dave was a friend of mine and I am shocked to hear the news, I never thought of all people he would have committed suicide’, he added.  

The Metropolitan Police have launched a probe into the death of the gangster-turned-actor who is said to have been the inspiration for Vinnie Jones’ character Big Chris in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Courtney posted pictures of himself smiling with his friends and spoke of having a 'cool cool' day

Courtney posted pictures of himself smiling with his friends and spoke of having a ‘cool cool’ day

He said he had a 'full works three course meal'. In less than 24 hours later he shot himself at his south-east London home

He said he had a ‘full works three course meal’. In less than 24 hours later he shot himself at his south-east London home

Less than 24 hours before he was found dead by his friend and lodger Brendan McGirr, 57, in his south-east London home on Sunday morning, he had been all smiles while watching his beloved Charlton Athletic.

Waring a white shirt, blue waist coat and tie he shared on his social media enjoying a three course meal surrounded by friends after his team beat Reading 4-0.  He wrote: ‘An wat a cool cool day it’s all turning out to be.’ 

While at the time of his death he was one of Britain’s best-known gangsters, Courtney came from humble beginnings growing up on a council estate in south London, enjoying a normal childhood with loving parents.

‘You are born naughty,’ he said in the previously unseen footage. ‘I am a perfect example of you can’t actually blame the parents.

‘I would love to be able to blame it on something but I’m afraid my mum and dad were proper upstanding members of the community, you know a couple of Scout leaders and I wasn’t hard done by. 

‘I wasn’t the poor end of the scale but I wasn’t a silver spoon in my mouth. I’ve got no complaints about my childhood whatsoever. My mum and dad did everything they possibly could to raise the perfect child and I’m afraid this is what turned out – and from them, I’m sorry.’ 

When asked who he was most afraid of in the criminal world, he said no one, admitting ‘my mum and my wife’ are the only people that scared him.

Courtney, who has died aged 64 after shooting himself at his London home, was one of Britain's best-known gangsters

Courtney, who has died aged 64 after shooting himself at his London home, was one of Britain’s best-known gangsters 

Courtney was only nine-years-old when the London-based double act The Krays were jailed but he claims to have arranged the security for Ronnie Kray's funeral (pictured) back in 1995

Courtney was only nine-years-old when the London-based double act The Krays were jailed but he claims to have arranged the security for Ronnie Kray’s funeral (pictured) back in 1995

Courtney went on to feature in films such as Six Bend Trapp, Clubbing to Death and The Dead Sleep Easy

Courtney went on to feature in films such as Six Bend Trapp, Clubbing to Death and The Dead Sleep Easy

Courtney admitted he broke the law for the first time stealing sweets from the shop who employed him to do his paper round.

At the time, it didn’t occur to him he was doing anything criminal but it was a springboard for what many called his ‘life of crime’ but Courtney said ‘was a life of enjoyment’.

Working his way up the criminal ladder, he claimed he ditched school after realising he could make more money elsewhere.

‘I actually ended up earning more when I was supposed to be a school than my dad was earning running a house and keeping three children,’ he said. 

‘So the chances of me actually leaving school, getting a 9-5 job and earning £150 a week for five and a half days when I could go on one and nick £200 on a Saturday night breaking into a shop was slim.

‘I have always liked the nice clothes, I’ve always liked the nice places, I’ve always liked the nicer things in life that sitting there flipping burgers five days a week in McDonald’s isn’t going to get you there.’ 

Courtney was found in bed yesterday morning with a shot wound and a pillow over his face when his lodger checked in on him, worrying that he had been ‘very quiet’.

Courtney with his wife Jennifer, aka JennyBean, at the Elvis Forever concert in Hyde Park, London in 2010

Courtney with his wife Jennifer, aka JennyBean, at the Elvis Forever concert in Hyde Park, London in 2010

Courtney shows off a knuckle-duster in 2001 at the Manhattan Cafe in Woolwich, south east London, the venue for a reception after the marriage of Saira Rehman to Britain's most dangerous inmate Charles Bronson, at Milton Keynes Prison

Courtney shows off a knuckle-duster in 2001 at the Manhattan Cafe in Woolwich, south east London, the venue for a reception after the marriage of Saira Rehman to Britain’s most dangerous inmate Charles Bronson, at Milton Keynes Prison

Courtney attends the funeral of criminal Bruce Richard Reynolds - the mastermind behind the 1963 Great Train Robbery - in March 2013

Courtney attends the funeral of criminal Bruce Richard Reynolds – the mastermind behind the 1963 Great Train Robbery – in March 2013 

Sources said the gangster had been wearing a glove and had used a Glock 9mm pistol, a type of gun favoured by the criminal underworld.

On his official Twitter page, a statement confirmed his death announcing he ‘tragically took his own life’ at his Plumstead home ‘with a firearm’. 

A heavy police presence remains outside of his home – dubbed Camelot Castle – today.

In a podcast interview recorded just two months ago, the former enforcer said that while he was not looking forward to death, he would embrace it. 

Speaking to Graft Kings, he said: ‘I do believe in something, whatever it is, whatever it is, whatever his name is, whether he has got a halo.

‘I’m not anti it, I’m not a non believer. I am the f****** afterlife. I’m not saying I am running away, or looking forward to it.

‘I am actually going to embrace having a little lie down and a rest. It wouldn’t frighten me, I think I’d be smiling before my head hit the floor.’

Courtney, who went on to write a number of books and feature in several documentaries, died just three months after Courtney was hauled to court after police found weapons in his home.

Courtney starring in ITV's Celebrity Villain. Tributes for the much-loved gangster have poured in on social media

Courtney starring in ITV’s Celebrity Villain. Tributes for the much-loved gangster have poured in on social media

Born in Bermondsey, south London, Courtney became infamous as a knuckle-duster wielding debt collector

Born in Bermondsey, south London, Courtney became infamous as a knuckle-duster wielding debt collector

Celebrity gangster-turned-actor Dave Courtney, who referred to himself as 'the most feared man in Britain', published six books - including titles such as Dodgy Dave's Little Black Book

Celebrity gangster-turned-actor Dave Courtney, who referred to himself as ‘the most feared man in Britain’, published six books – including titles such as Dodgy Dave’s Little Black Book

He was charged with housemate McGirr, 57, who runs an industry prop company, after knuckledusters, daggers and throwing stars were spotted. Pictures inside the property which featured in magazines had shown weapons on the wall.

After police entered the property and identified a number of weapons inside, Courtney and McGirr said they had no idea the items were illegal.

As a result they were hauled off to Bromley Magistrates Court in July, accused of being in possession of offensive weapons. The charges were eventually dropped.  

Speaking outside court he told filmmaker Liam Galvin: ‘Not guilty, but I wasn’t actually guilty anyway. I’m proud of my friend for holding his hands up.

‘We’re going out for a meal, we are going to console Brendan. I don’t think he will do community work – he’d rather go to prison.

‘Don’t get a knuckleduster in your drawer, they are against the law now, they’ll get you nicked.’

This morning, Courtney’s family released a statement revealing that he had been living with cancer and the pain for the disease had been attacking his body. 

It read: “On October 22 Dave made the decision to “stop the ride”.

‘He had lived an incredible, colourful rock n roll life which he touched the hearts of so many.

‘The physical pain of living the lifestyle he chose, especially due to the pain of both cancer and arthritis in his later years, became too much.

Celebrity gangster-turned-actor Dave Courtney, who referred to himself as 'the most feared man in Britain', published six books - including titles such as Dodgy Dave's Little Black Book

Celebrity gangster-turned-actor Dave Courtney, who referred to himself as ‘the most feared man in Britain’, published six books – including titles such as Dodgy Dave’s Little Black Book

Courtney, 63, was said to have been the inspiration for Vinnie Jones' character Big Chris (pictured) in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Courtney, 63, was said to have been the inspiration for Vinnie Jones’ character Big Chris (pictured) in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

‘So, rather than be a burden to his family and friends, he chose to “stop the ride” and take his way out.

‘In his own immortal words, “stop the ride, I want to get off”.’ 

Throughout his life Courtney became infamous as a knuckle-duster wielding debt collector.

In 2004 he was cleared of attacking his wife Jennifer Pinto over an alleged lesbian affair. Four years earlier, he walked free from the Old Bailey after he was cleared of being part of a plot to plant cocaine on an innocent woman.

During the trial he was named as a registered police informant using the alias ‘Tommy Mack’. But Courtney insisted he simply took advantage of the system to disguise a relationship with a corrupt detective.

‘I have never been a grass,’ he said. He is also known to have spent time in Belmarsh prison.

In recent times he became somewhat of a celebrity figure, making a living from appearances in numerous television documentaries and a number of low-budget British gangster films. He also starred in, directed and produced his own film, Hell To Pay.

He went on to feature in films such as Six Bend Trapp, Clubbing to Death and The Dead Sleep Easy.

The hardman, 64, who was the inspiration for Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrel's memorable Little Chris enforcer ended his life in his famous Camelot Castle pad

The hardman, 64, who was the inspiration for Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrel’s memorable Little Chris enforcer ended his life in his famous Camelot Castle pad

Police outside Courtney's London home this morning after he was found dead on Sunday

Police outside Courtney’s London home this morning after he was found dead on Sunday

Dave Courtney on afterlife and looking forward to having a 'lie down and a rest' on the podcast

Dave Courtney on afterlife and looking forward to having a ‘lie down and a rest’ on the podcast

Courtney published six books – including titles such as Dodgy Dave’s Little Black Book – and recorded a version of ‘I Fought The Law’ with Scottish pop-punks Mute.

He referred to himself as Dave Courtney OBE – ‘One Big Ego’ – and has a painted depiction of himself as a knight in his south London house.

Tributes have poured in from social media since the news of his shock death broke.

Writer and author Rocky Troiani said on social media: ‘This is a post I never thought I would be writing. The loss of Dave Courtney is beyond words so heartbreaking to write.

‘Dave had been a close friend for many years as well as a great support for my charity work as photo shows here and even for a little sick girl just couple years ago dressed a father Christmas.

‘Dave had a heart of pure gold and would help anyone that genuinely needed it. I will miss my Christmas eve call this year. Such a sad loss and one that has broken many hearts too. God bless you sir you will be so sadly missed.’

Former boxer Ben Doughty was taken in by Courtney in 2016 when he ‘pretty much lost everything’. He posted an emotional tribute to his friend alongside a black and white photo of the pair standing together.

Courtney was only nine-years-old when the London-based double act were jailed but he claims to have arranged the security for Ronnie Kray's funeral back in 1995

Courtney was only nine-years-old when the London-based double act were jailed but he claims to have arranged the security for Ronnie Kray’s funeral back in 1995

Courtney's friend and lodger Brendan McGirr, 57, pictured here in July, had been worried when he did not emerge from his bedroom in his south-east London home

Courtney’s friend and lodger Brendan McGirr, 57, pictured here in July, had been worried when he did not emerge from his bedroom in his south-east London home

Dave - who appeared in films including The Krays - had to go to court in July over weapons

Dave – who appeared in films including The Krays – had to go to court in July over weapons

Pictures of the ex-gangster's home show a number of weapons used to decorate the walls

Pictures of the ex-gangster’s home show a number of weapons used to decorate the walls

Mr Doughty wrote: ‘If I hadn’t known Dave personally, I might have taken a dim view of the whole “celebrity gangster” thing but he was a great guy with a good heart who never took himself too seriously.’

He added: ‘Dave took me in at his famous “Castle Camelot” with no questions asked. When I arrived on a Saturday morning, he gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek before saying, “If you’re Joey’s [Pyle, Courtney’s friend] then you’re MINE. And I don’t want to see anyone go hungry in my house, help yourself to anything in the fridge”.’

Heartbroken close friend Shinobi Ryder said life would not be the same without him and spoke of how he was planning to come visit Courtney.

‘A part of me is missing today,’ the web graphic designer and music artists wrote. ‘Dave is gone and my soul feels a bit empty. He was a big part of my life and family. I can’t breathe.’

Not-for-profit organisation Autistic Inclusive Meets, where Courtney had been a patron since 2020, said they were heartbroken by his death.

‘His commitment to protecting autistic and ADHD teens from peer pressure, gangs, and the lack of support was unwavering,’ they wrote on their Facebook page. ‘We’re proud to have had him as our patron, and his absence is devastating.

‘Our condolences go out to Dave’s loved ones. He was adored by our attendees, and his legacy is a huge part of AIM. We’ll miss him deeply.’

Bareknuckle boxer Scott Dixon was in Malta with Courtney just over a month ago. He said Courtney was due to be a special guest at his Bare Knuckle Boxing bout this week where he is fighting for the Charles Bronson belt.

He said 10 bells will be rung ahead of his fight in Courtney’s memory.

Another wrote: ‘Some called him a gangster, some called him a villain I’m sure he was called an awful lot of things. As for me, for 15 years I called him my friend.

‘Truly and deeply saddened to hear he has left this world. RIP my good friend Dave Courtney. I will miss you.’



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button