Saturday March 17th, 2001

The Underworld Fantasy

Courtesy of Channel 5

Well, those of you who were unfortunate, or fortunate, depending on your mental state, to sit through the Channel 5 documentary entitled The Dave Courtney Underworld farcical programme on Sunday the 11th of March, now have enough evidence to judge whether 'Dodgy' Dave is a court jester or the real thing.

Channel 5 is guilty of broadcasting some stinkeroos, but with this programme they broke all previous records in the bad taste category.

For me the saving grace of the programme was the title. It was correctly named because it really was the Dave Courtney imagined portrayal of the underworld.

It certainly never resembled the underworld that I inhabited. In fact I saw nothing of the real underworld culture at all, but then you cannot speak with experience on a subject that you have little, or no, knowledge.


Therefore, the programme makers were restricted to the 'Dodgy' Dave Courtney burlesque concept of the underworld; a notion of a way if life that it is a million miles away from the real thing.

You would see more, albeit in flashes, of the real underworld lifestyle in well-made TV programmes with first-class scripts like The Soprano's that make no pretence to being anything other than fictional.

Pause for a moment and think about it: what did you actually see in the Dave Courtney Underworld programme that could be viewed as real life underworld behaviour or culture?

For me, and the many people who have been in contact with me with their opinion on the programme, it was a farce.

Ask any respected member of the underworld if they have ever worn a chain with a miniature knuckleduster on the end of it, or asked their partner to clean their knuckledusters?

A word of warning before you ask either of these insolent questions make sure you are out of punching distance.

That which I did see that was noticeable by its absence was that not one respected face accepted an invitation to appear on the programme-and it was shrewd thinking by those who turned their backs on the laughable antics that were meant to portray the serious world of those of us who chose to live in a world that has strict principles and rules, but has scant regard for the rules of a society that has been corrupted by hypocrites, and others much worse, who sit in the seats of power, and interpret the laws of this society as it best suits them.

If you have not had experience of the underworld, at the level that became my lifestyle, and after watching the Dave Courtney burlesque version of the underworld, you may be inclined to believe it to be the fantasy version portrayed by 'Dodgy' Dave, and his 'merry' men, as they strutted around in a mock parody of the real thing.

It may also lead you to think that it is a world that is absurdly farcical, and where the tales of this culture are so exaggerated they make fishermen's tales, by comparison, appear to be gospel.

Let me assure you could not be more wrong.

The Real World -The Evidence

The world in which I lived for over three score years and ten is a real world. It has to be to exist and have such longevity.

People like Billy Hill, Billy Blythe, the Kray twins, Freddie Foreman, George Cornell, some of the train robbers, the Nash brothers, Roy Shaw, and many others were, and some still are, people who lived by the sword and were prepared to die by the sword &endash; literally.


  • There were also people like Jack Spot who lived by the sword, yet when he tried to take a liberty with a good friend of mine and had justified retribution imposed on him, he screamed for a policeman


  • Then there were the Jack McVitie's. Jack was a genuine man until he became an underworld outcast when he sold his soul to the devils of alcohol and drugs.


  • How could I have established my reputation if it was a travesty; how could the Kray twins have organised their East End Empire, if we were burlesque players?


  • It is well known that the totally fearless George Cornell did not die from old age.


  • I was not charged, and then acquitted of murder when Dickie Hart, a cousin of the Krays, was shot to death with his own gun in Mr. Smith's nightclub and casino, because he died from a heart attack.


  • Selwyn Cooney did not die from alcoholic poisoning in an East End nightclub, after trying to be 'Jack The Lad' with a young member of the well-respected Nash family from North London.


A jury acquitted the older Nash brother the much-liked Jimmy, of shooting Cooney.


  • Charlie Mitchell, a real bully who 'swallowed it' when challenged to a 'straightener', or whatever way he wanted it, by Eddie Richardson, and who turned Queen's evidence witness against the Kray's, did not die in Spain from heatstroke.


  • Freddie Foreman did not commit murder when out on a clay pigeon shoot.


  • Johnny Carter saw me as a threat to his South London Empire that he ruled with ruthless violence and fear, so he took a diabolical liberty by cunningly stabbing me several times while my back was turned when we were drinking together.

    When I eventually caught up with Carter and he was rushed to hospital, and placed on the critical list, it was not because the knife I was carrying happened to slip and cut his finger.


  • I did not lose my temper with Eric Mason and Jack Spot, and just smack them on the arse - or on the chin.

Eric badly insulted me, and must have known that this would not be allowed to go unchallenged.

The fact that he was placed at death's door made sure he never repeated the same mistake.

Eric was far from being a bad man, but he gambled and lost.

Jack Spot had a big reputation, and was mean and vicious. However, when he took a liberty with my good friend this meant nothing.

He was another that chose to gamble but his throw of the dice was calculated, and for much higher stakes.

The scars on his face and body remained a testimony to his lost gamble. The physical beating he received was only part of the punishment. He was a ruined man. He tried several 'comebacks' but he had seriously broken the rules, and that meant that there was no way that he would be allowed back.

These are just isolated examples, and I could go on and on.

Mystery, Spin And No Substance

The underworld is a harsh world, and there is no compromise with the rules by the respected members.

Break the rules and you can expect the worst type of punishment.

Dodgy' Dave compromises the rules, and needs to explain highly suspicious behaviour; but instead he acts as if he is in a pantomime. This makes a laughing stock of a very serious business. He wants respect but is not prepared to earn it.

He gives no details of his alleged 'long list' of previous convictions. There are no details of the crimes he is alleged to have committed. No names of respected underworld figures with whom he has 'worked or 'done bird'. There is no mention of the names of Counsel who represented him on the alleged serious charges. No names of police officers that arrested him.

When serious criminal charges are made high ranking officers are always involved.

With 'Dodgy' there is too much mystery, too much 'spin', and no substance.

It is known that in the past 16 years he has been charged with 10 offences - and was found not guilty on each charge. Now that must be a candidate for the Guinness Book of Records.

Remarkable as it may be this was not mentioned on the Channel 5 programme.

We have all heard of police harassment but 10 out of 10 acquittals on serious charges that has to be something special. It cannot be dismissed as harassment but has to be intolerable persecution &endash; or is there another reason?

Why didn't 'Dodgy Dave' use the Channel 5 programme, and any other media opportunity, to expose the alleged police persecution of him?


  • Doesn't 'Dodgy' have a local MP?
  • Didn't his lawyer make repeated complaints to the police?
  • Why did his lawyers not enlist the aid of the media to publicise the alleged police unacceptable behaviour?
  • Did none of his 'merry men' stage demonstrations?

Apparently not because there were no details of this kind mentioned in the programme.


Where Was The Proof?

The programme time and time again said that 'Dodgy' Dave works hard at self-publicity, and it cannot be denied that he does.

Therefore, it stretches the imagination to breaking point to believe that he would arrive at Bow Street Magistrates Court dressed as court jester for the purpose of satisfying the tabloid press, who had been forewarned that he was going to dress up and were well represented; yet when he says that he hit the police officer on the chin who claimed that 'Dodgy' Dave was his registered informer, and was 'nicked' with him on a charge of perverting the course of justice, there were no media witnesses present or camera(s) to vouch for the alleged incident.

In the programme the lack of this proof wasn't mentioned, instead the lame excuse was given that the police officer would not press charges. He didn't have to press charges.

If anyone of you has ever been to Bow Street Magistrates Court when the courts are in session you will know it is the one of busiest of London police courts. Court officials, police officers, lawyers, and others are always present.

In these circumstances the police would not need the assaulted person to press the charge(s). With sufficient witnesses the police would bring the charge and the person alleged to have been assaulted could be brought to the court on a warrant.

Ask your self another question would a police officer risk going to prison instead of giving evidence against someone who had hit him, especially when the policeman was facing a serious criminal charge? I don't know of any such police officer, do you?

Is it possible that the experienced policeman would not have taken full advantage of the alleged assault on him, and when he was found guilty of the conspiracy to have instructed his Counsel to offer in a plea of mitigation that he was 'forced' into the conspiracy because he was in 'fear of his life', and used the alleged assault as proof?

It has been used very successfully in the past to gain the sympathy of the courts.

Dodgy' Dave has said on repeated occasions, and repeated it again on the TV programme, that the police want to badly 'nick' him. If this is true then is it likely that they would pass up a ready-made opportunity to 'nick' him for assault on a co-defendant who was also 'one of their own', a policeman?

I'll leave you to answer the questions.

The TV programme was a charade. The one witness who described 'Dodgy' Dave as a latter-day Attila The Hun was a former News of the World reporter.

Former News of the World reporter? Why didn't they interview a News of the World reporter presently working for the newspaper?

Perhaps, the current News of the World crime reporters have a different opinion of 'Dodgy' Dave?

It might also be interesting to know why the reporter interviewed on the programme is no longer with the News of the World?

Hit and Myth

In the programme we were introduced to two wannabe 'film moguls' who have a script that they want 'Dodgy' to play the lead role. They also want to take 'Dodgy' Dave to Hollywood where they know he will be a sensation. I can't recall the names of the two 'moguls' so I'll settle for Dumb and Dumber.

When 'Dodgy' asked D & D how much would he earn for playing the lead role Dumb, or was it, Dumber, said, "A million!"

Dodgy' couldn't conceal his excitement, and delight. So he obviously believed it, and was eager to shake the hands of both D & D.

Dumber, or maybe it was Dumb, then immediately turned to the camera and said, with an impish smile, "Don't hold me to that!"

D & D are two youngsters trying to break into the film industry. If they succeed good luck to them, but they have to remember that when a young man by the name of Quentin Tarantino opened the closed shop of Hollywood he did so with the original product of Reservoir Dogs, and then followed this with Pulp Fiction.

Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth and the rest of the cast of Reservoir Dogs are, in the world of acting the real thing; to them acting is acting, whatever the role.

Well, who knows, perhaps, Quentin only cast these acclaimed professional because he had never heard of 'Dodgy' Dave Courtney, and I wonder if that remains one of the big regrets of his life?

I will use commonsense to arrive at the answer to that question.

We all know now that Hollywood is under threat because 'Dodgy' has told us so.

Near to the end of the programme, and in no uncertain terms, 'Dodgy' Dave issued the warning that he intends to barnstorm Hollywood, and that when he puts his mind to anything he makes it happen.

No doubt this worrying threat has made the local Los Angeles 'Tony Soprano' book a suite for the rest of the year at the Fontainbleu Hotel in Miami, Florida so that when deadly 'Dodgy' Dave hits tinsel town he has a bolthole already prepared.

It will also mean that the dangerous street gangs of Los Angeles will have no option but to turn themselves in to the local 'Old Bill' when 'Dodgy' Dave hits their city, so that they may have a slightly better chance of staying alive behind prison walls.

And the street people will not be alone.

A worried Robert de Niro will have to go back to Method acting classes.

Bruce Willis will receive a written pink slip from the heads of all the film studios stating in bold letters, "Don't 'phone me, I'll 'phone you".

Marlon Brando will go on a crash diet to regain his sexy personality to combat the 'terrifying' Forest Hills threat to his reputation as the greatest living film actor.

Al Pacino will retire to the village in Sicily where he recuperated after being badly beaten-up in The Godfather.

Hollywood may never be the same again.

Hollywood? Sorry, as I have said before now, I mean Bollywood, as in Bombay, India and not Hollywood, as in LA, USA.

If you have ever seen a Bollywood gangster movie then it has to be admitted that even 'Dodgy' Dave might be a star, well maybe a small star, but then in Bollywood the 'Milky Bar Kid' would certainly be a big cowboy star.

On a serious note there are two worlds out there: the real world, and the make-believe world.

Those of you who saw The Dave Courtney Underworld programme on Channel 5, and are that interested, have now to decide wherein does 'Dodgy' Dave live? Is it the real world or the make-believe world?

If you can spare the time please let me know.