Tuesday, June 20th, 2000




Dodgy Stories  

After six months have passed 'Dodgy' Dave Courtney has suddenly taken umbrage to my viewpoint on the allegation that he was part of a plot to 'fit-up' a young innocent mother on a drugs charge.

' 'Dodgy' Dave is saying that my outrage is due to jealousy. If there is anyone who would believe that I, or, for that matter, any other former highly respected mature gangland figure mentioned by Dave, would at any time have a reason to be jealous of 'Dodgy', then that person will also believe that the cow did jump over the moon.
As Coca-Cola might say we are the real thing!

'Dodgy' says that he was unable to make an earlier reply to my outrage at the vile charge he is alleged to have been involved in because he was too busy developing his new career as a writer.
Any respected member of the Gangland fraternity would have dropped everything to protect his reputation. What good is any career that depends on good principles if your reputation is in serious threat of being tainted?
The allegation against 'Dodgy' Dave is that he took part in a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The following article was printed in the South London Press on Tuesday 13 th June:

Author late for court

Gangland author Dave Courtney kept an Old Bailey court waiting for almost an hour this week, after his motorbike disappeared.
The 1000cc, £8000 Honda Shadow was discovered missing as Courtney, 46, left his Plumstead home to ride to the court.
Judge Gerald Gordon had adjourned Tuesday's hearing just seconds before Courtney arrived - 45 minutes late and full of apologies.
However, the court was reconvened for his benefit.
And writer Courtney, of Camelot Castle, Plumstead, pleaded not guilty to one charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Co-defendants Simon James 43, of Northcote Road, Battersea, William Rees, 46, of Grange Road, Thornton Heath, and policeman Austin Warnes, 47, of Heath Road, Dartford, also deny the charge.
It is alleged the five men had attempted to frame Simon James' estranged wife by planting drugs on her.
A trial has been scheduled for November 6.

In fairness to Courtney, there is nothing more I wish to say, as far as the allegation and pending court case is concerned.
Suffice to say it is not only the court of law that will be judging him!

That being said, perhaps, Lord Jeffrey Archer had better beware because when it comes to telling stories his Lordship probably runs second to 'Dodgy'.

Once upon a time…

One of 'Dodgy's' stories is that at some anonymous function and at an anonymous venue my partner Marilyn and I were alleged to have been rude to his black wife and I 'slagged off' his book. The only time I am able to recall being in the close company of Dave and his wife was when we met at a minor function and he gave Marilyn and I a lift to our then home in Islington. Judged upon the cordiality that was present we parted amicably.

Not content with the nonsense jealousy charge against me 'Dodgy' does himself even less credit by nastily trying to use the last stop racist accusation. Like the little boy who cried wolf too often the indictment of racism is being seriously over-played and becoming very tiring. It is fast becoming as credible as the old 'sus' law, which is very unfortunate for those with a genuine racist complaint. An alleged 'well connected' man like 'Dodgy' should know this.

If I'm a racist why did I when racism was, in the main acceptable, be the only person to step in and stop a black man, that I never even knew, being beaten up by 'screws' in Bristol prison in April, 1975? I lost remission and the 'screws' gave vent to a great deal of spite on my body with their 'sticks'. I didn't know him then and I don't know him now. To me he was just another prisoner that needed help. As it turns out it was through a relative of this man that got me involved with Tricky, and his Album, Product of the Environment.

Dodgy' freely uses the word respect but in the real world of 'The Chaps' the word respect is the most sought after accolade. It is the equivalent to a knighthood except the qualifications are more demanding. A knighthood is bestowed for services to Queen and country and can never be initially claimed.

Equally the accolade of respect is given by 'The Chaps' for deeds that earn reverence from your peers. It can never be self-bestowed and to have any meaning may only be earned.

Those that try to self-appoint themselves as 'respected' members of the underworld fraternity are as phony as a Cartier watch made in Hong Kong.

The respect I have from my peers was earned the hard way and I would not have wanted it to come differently. Those to whom I give respect have earned their respect likewise and, equally so, I am sure they too would not have wanted it any other way.

The rulebook of the underworld is very strict, very much stricter that than standard required for a knighthood, and many do not have the strength of character to uphold the very demanding code that this 'world' demands. Talk is cheap and the cheapest is bullshit. Any reasonable actor can look tough and with the use of some 'hardware' look even tougher.

Some of the most respected of 'The Chaps' I am privileged to know behaved like gentlemen and were quiet, amiable people - until they were upset. There are also a number of men and women who live respectable lives and whose principles have remained as solid as a rock. When the principles of all these people were placed under immense pressure they stood firm and loyal, and many have gone well beyond the call of duty. For this they have gained true respect.

lock, stock

There were very critical comments by well respected 'Chaps' on the book written by 'Dodgy' Dave but I could only manage a couple of chapters of it. For me to have to pretend that I had completed reading the book and 'slag' it off would give credence to it. Life for me has never been a role in lock, stock… That's for others.

"Dodgy' says that at the police court he 'knocked spark out'' the crooked copper who he alleges has caused him his present police troubles - and it was all caught on camera. If it is true then he only did something any self-respecting man would do and the unusual fact that he hasn't been charged with assault doesn't give cause for any criticism.

No doubt that at some time in the future we will all have the pleasure of seeing the photographs.

The one thing that cannot be denied of 'Dodgy' is that he is not shy. So when he talks about the long term 'bird' he has done why doesn't he tell us of the crimes for which he was convicted, the sentences he received, the names of the Judges that sentenced him, the Counsel that defended him, the 'nicks' he was in and the respected members of the underworld with whom he served his sentences?

He certainly never did time or went to war with the respected people I know.

When 'Dodgy' telephoned me to try and explain his involvement in the present court case he is involved in I left him in no doubt as to my views. If he wants to make public my comments I have no objection.

There is no greater supporter than me of the maxim that a person is innocent until he is proven guilty so until the jury returns with a verdict based upon genuine evidence that says otherwise, then Dave Courtney is innocent. It would not be the first time the police have made a mistake through incompetence, or a malicious reason, but he stands accused of a particularly bad offence that is set firmly against the principles of people of respect and that cannot be denied.

The reason the people that I have good cause to respect have stood the test of time is because they set the rules when dealing with 'bent' coppers. Business was done on their terms or not at all.

Arise Sir Court Jester

It's no joke the 85-years-old funnyman Sir Norman Wisdom has received a well deserved knighthood for services to entertainment. That may be the official reason but, in truth, it is for doing a great service to the people by making them laugh.

Former boxer Norman exchanged his cloth cap and ill-fitting Steptoe suit for a very smart top hat and morning attire and made his way to Buckingham Palace for the ceremony.

Ever the comedian the octogenarian 'Stormin' Norman became a real court jester when he made the grand ballroom ring with laughter and the Queen smile, which is no mean feat when she is on court duties.

After The Queen had touched both of his shoulders with the ceremonial sword and completed the ceremony, the impish Norm turned to make his exit. As he approached the exit door he did his famous little pretend-to-trip act. The guests laughed and H.M. The Queen was seen to chuckle. It was typical Wisdom (maybe that should be with a small 'w')..

Go forth Sir Norm and for Queen and the Empire, Hackney that is, slay them dead.

The Price? - You Decide!

It was interesting to read the advertisement by the hotel group Ibis where they invite you to stay at one of their hotels for the month of June and pay only that which YOU decide the service and accommodation was worth.

This could be a really worthwhile new trend and may be worthy of consideration by the members of the Law Society and those who have chambers in the Inns of Court.

Can you imagine having to only pay your solicitor or your barrister after the case has finished and only that which you decide he or she is worth?

It would swiftly sort out the non-triers.

The Lord Chancellor Irvine appears not to be averse to some radical changes and would do well to consider introducing this innovation. It would certainly slim down the ranks of the lawyers who fail to use their best ability to defend the poor and do good service to their clients.

For the fees of lawyers to be dependent upon the quality of the service they render would, probably, seriously reduce the intake into prisons