Former gangster Dave Courtney was found dead at his home in Plumstead on Sunday morning (October 22). 

The 64-year-old's passing was announced on his Instagram account where it was reported that he took his own life

As tributes pour in for Dave, we look back at the life of the gangster turned showman. 

Life in the criminal underworld 

Dave was born in Bermondsey but went to school in Sydenham and soon found himself pursuing a life of crime. 

He claimed to have been involved in debt-collecting, smuggling items into prison and murder. 

Dave also claimed to have links to the Kray twins and said he arranged security for Ronnie Kray’s funeral. 

He is said to have been the target of many murder attempts including being shot, stabbed and having his nose bitten off. 

In 2002 Dave suffered serious injuries in an A2 car crash which he claims was caused by hitmen who were trying to kill him. 

He said his Range Rover was bumped off the road by a car which then drove away. 

News Shopper: Dave was found dead during the morning of October 22 at the age of 64 (Dave was found dead during the morning of October 22 at the age of 64 ( (Image: Street View)

In the dock 

Naturally, Dave often found himself in a court dock. In fact, he claims he was found not guilty in 19 separate trials. 

In 2000 he was found not guilty of a plot to plant drugs on a model. 

Then in 2004 he was cleared of attacking his wife Jennifer Pinto during a row about an affair she is said to have had. 

Fast forward to 2009 and he was cleared of possessing a firearm. 

Earlier this year Dave beat a charge of possessing knuckledusters after it emerged they were film props. 

Although he had a knack for winning in the courtroom, he did spend time bars including as a high security prisoner in Belmarsh. 

In the 1980s he was jailed for attacking five men with a meat cleaver. 


In 2011 Dave’s 23-year-old stepson Genson Courtney was executed by his uncle David Pinto, who shot him through the eye on Banning Street, Greenwich

In the fortnight before Genson’s death he lived an erratic lifestyle, robbing other drug dealers and brawling with Dave Courtney on Plumstead Common, the murder trial was told. 

Genson is said to have made threats to Pinto and demanded £1,100 he was owed. 

Pinto and accomplice Robert Bleach were both found guilty of murder and jailed for life with a minimum term of 31 years. 

But in 2017 Genson’s mum, Jennifer Pinto, said she believes her brother is innocent and that her son’s killer is still free. 

We invite you to share your thoughts, memories, and condolences as we remember Dave Courtney.

One Big Ego 

News Shopper: Dave's home, which he called Camelot CastleDave's home, which he called Camelot Castle (Image: Street View)

Dave, who referred to himself as Dave Courtney OBE (One Big Ego), was rumoured to be the inspiration behind Vinnie Jones’s character in Guy Ritchie’s gangster film Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels. 

After turning to writing, he published six books, and starred in a film called Hell To Pay. 

Never shy of attention, even Dave’s home in Plumstead is a local landmark. 

Camelot Castle, as he calls it, is decorated with St George’s flags, golden lions and many murals.