Tuesday, June 20th, 2000
SIR COURT JESTER
PRICE? - YOU DECIDE!
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
Judge Gerald Gordon had adjourned Tuesday's hearing just
seconds before Courtney arrived - 45 minutes late and full
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
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
Suffice to say it is not only the court of law that will be
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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