Tuesday, November 2nd, 1999
The despicable court case in which it is alleged that an attempt was made to 'plant' drugs on an innocent mother and that has led to an appearance in court of 'Dodgy' Dave Courtney and a serving policemen on a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice, has rightly caused serious concern within the ranks of the ' The Chaps'.
To date no evidence has been given by the prosecution or the defence and the defendants are entitled to be viewed in legal terms as innocent until it is proven otherwise.
Not unexpectedly, 'Dodgy" Dave is vehemently denying being a professional 'grass' and called me and made an offer to play to me the tapes of his interview with the arresting officers. I declined the offer.
There was no point in listening to the tapes because guilty, or otherwise, it would be no surprise if 'Dodgy' Dave took pains, on legal advice, not to incriminate himself in any interview.
The elite Scotland Yard anti-corruption squad CIB3 in a dramatic swoop on the M6 motorway arrested Dave. CIB3 is a powerful unit. This suggests they are confident of their position. There was no invitation to 'Dodgy' Dave to go to a police station with his lawyer to 'help the police in their inquiries'.
However, in no way should this be considered an indication of guilt. The police are notorious for making mistakes.
When the details of the arrest and charge were exposed in the local newspaper South London Press, 'Dodgy' Dave stood in two docks - in the Magistrates court and in the court of his peers.
One of the reasons he was in the court of his peers is because the nature of the charge on which he is charged is particularly nasty. I am already on record as saying that this is a crime in which no self- respecting villain would involve himself.
According to Dave he has a full answer to the charge. Perhaps, he has.
However, there is an allegation that he had a close relationship with a serving policeman. For a variety of reasons for a practicing villain to invite a policeman to his home is obviously dangerous and certain to cause suspicious comment - even if the association is entirely innocent - from both sides of the law. That is unless it is an official relationship that has the consent of the constabulary.
Therefore, the allegation, if it is true, that his policeman co-defendant was a regular visitor to the Courtney home is going to take a great deal of explaining.
During my life of crime I was never close to the police. They were my opponents. They had a job to do and if they did it fairly there were never any complaints from me.
Unfortunately, through experience I learned you could not trust a policeman and their word was as reliable as a late train arriving on time. Their professional behaviour depended on that which is best for them if that meant breaking a few heads and rules - tough!
I repeat that at this stage of the proceedings 'Dodgy' Dave and his co-defendant are innocent and will remain so until proven guilty. Nevertheless, If I were to be asked, prior to his innocence being clearly established, would I be prepared to tell 'Dodgy' Dave a secret or go as guarantor for his ethical behaviour, I would take a rain-check?
The structure of the charge indicates to me that that if the s**t hits the fan there will be unsavoury revelations, revelations that are repugnant to people of my ethical persuasion.
People like me bow to those who gain genuine Humanitarian Awards, I will never qualify for membership of Mensa and Magnus Magnusson was correct in not inviting me to be a challenger on Mastermind. However, on values sacred to my principles I bow to no one because these principles are made of the toughest steel and impervious to compromise.
As the wise man said; "If you live by the sword, you have to expect to die by the sword'.
I have never met Sir Paul Condon the departing Metropolitan Commissioner of Police which, from a professional point of view, might have saved us both a great deal of aggravation. Therefore, my judgement of him is restricted to his public personae and he does come across as a reasonably morally honest man.
However, his track record on certain public issues does indicate he is somewhat naïve. This view is strengthened by his statement that he will rid the Metropolitan Police force of all corrupt officers.
This is a statement that would have had the eccentric King Canute champing at the bit to become involved in. You may remember this ancient Royal Ruler sat on his throne, faced the incoming sea and ordered the tide not to come in. A thoroughly wet Sovereign learnt that there are some things that cannot be changed.
If I had the choice of eliminating flies from a mountain of dung on a hot, sunny day or to rid the police of crooked cops, I would choose the first option.
People who know that I am a boxing fan have asked me for my view on Mike Tyson's latest fight misadventure.
I have sympathy for Mike Tyson because he was a victim of a conspiracy that led to him being railroaded in the rape case, for which he was sent to prison, that deprived him of what should have been his best fighting years. This conspiracy shamed the American justice system and left deep scars on both the system and the victim.
It is well known that Mike is a man who has an extraordinary talent for fighting in the boxing ring. He is also a man who has no talent for business, financial matters and judgement of character. He is a sucker for the financial vultures and human leeches.
In his recent encounter with Orlin Norris in Las Vegas the fact of the matter is that despite reports in the media that he was to be deprived of his purse money for hitting his opponent after the bell there was no legal reason to allow this sanction and consequently the threat was sheer nonsense.
He was cautioned by the referee for hitting his opponent after the bell but allowed to return to his corner to prepare for the next round. In the interval his opponent retired on his stool.
His opponent, no doubt, felt the force of the Tyson power and decided it was time to go home. Boxing is often pilloried and accused of being a function that only causes brain damage Orlin Norris proved the lie of this false propaganda. He proved beyond all reasonable doubt that he has no brain damage. He took the reported half a million purse money and limped to the bank with his leg injury.
Mike Tyson is said to be a complex man. I am not sure this is correct. I believe he is basically a simple man but because of the enormous pressures on him his life is made complex and the company he keeps would turn anyone into a complex character.
People are the main cause of his problems. If Mike would rid himself of his infestation of ignorant boxing advisors, bloodsuckers, idiots and professional ponces then his life may well become normal.
Should he fail to rid himself of these parasites and come to terms with life then the future is bleak for him.
People are convinced that Mike is the architect of his own tragedies. This may, or may not, be true. As a fighter he was supreme in his era. He has no qualifications to be compared with an expert in business administration or a university professor. But then they can't fight like Mike Tyson. He is a man blessed with a special sporting talent and that is his full ration of exceptional qualities.
A terrible waste of talent in any sphere of life is
always a tragedy. For the special flair of Mike Tyson to be
wantonly discarded is so appalling that it could cause the
statue of Rocky Marciano to shed tears.