Tuesday, 27th November 2001

TV Epilogue to 'Dodgy' Dave Courtney

The 'fly-on-the-wall' documentary on 'Dodgy' Dave Courtney is yet another indication of the decline of English TV programmes.

'Celebrity Villain - Real Life' was in breach of the trade descriptions act if it was meant to be a real life account of a respected villain.

The absence of any real content in the programme left no doubt that even the 'fly-on-the-wall must have fallen asleep.

Fortunately the readers of the Evening Standard newspaper were forewarned that it was a 'lullaby programme' when they previewed the programme and made the comment: "Haven't Channels 4 and 5 done this to death" - meaning the 'Dodgy' Dave Courtney gangster fiction?

Is it any wonder that the superb fictional series 'The Soprano's' won so many awards, and is so highly thought of, when programmes like 'Celebrity Villain' is the opposition.

'The Soprano's' is brilliant programme making, and riveting TV for adults.


In 'Celebrity Villain' I was credited with saying that 'Dodgy' Dave is a 'grass'.

To avoid any misapprehension allow me to explain how 'Dodgy' Dave Courtney became exposed as a 'grass'.

The label 'grass' never arose from an idle rumour or wicked malicious gossip, it was a statement made in open court when 'Dodgy' Dave appeared on a charge of perverting the course of justice.

It came from the Crown prosecuting Counsel who categorically stated that Dave Courtney was a registered police informer, and had been given the imaginary name of 'Tommy Mack' to hide his real identity.

When this accusation was made in court there was no angry outburst from Courtney, or his barrister. There was no threat from the Judge to have Courtney taken out of court if he persisted in disturbing the peace of the court by angrily declaring he was a not a 'grass'.

Many have been the occasions when I, and others, have been threatened with being barred from the court when our anger has taken over when an outrageous lie was made by the police, and any other, in open court.

In the Courtney case the condemning statement that Courtney was a registered police informer was allowed to rest.


I don't know of one respected villain who would not have been outraged by such a false accusation, and was able to contain his outrage.

It must be clearly understood that the police do not go through the procedure of enlisting anyone onto theInformants Register unless the candidate is a proven reliable informant. It is commonsense that candidates have to be screened to avoid timewasters cluttering-up the Register. The giving by the police of a false identity usually means that information supplied by the candidate has proved to be valuable and accurate, and he/she requires to be protected.

It also requires the written consent of the 'grass' before he is put onto the register. This procedure is necessary otherwise there would be terrible abuse.

It is usual for registered informants to be on the police payroll. Any such payments also require the signature of the informant.

It is the principle of all respected villains that 'grasses' should be ostracised from mixing with decent people. They are dangerous and treacherous traitors, and no one is safe from a Judas.

It is not uncommon for a 'grass' to be manipulated by the police to tell lies, as was clearly illustrated in the ludicrous 'Torture Trial'.

These are despicable people who care only for themselves. They are cowards who are incapable of being morally honest, and are unable to do their 'bird'.

So they become sewer-dwellers that rank with the lowest of the low.


My disrespect for 'Dodgy' Dave is not confined to the fact that he was exposed as a 'grass' in open court, but it also extends to the nature of the case that put him in court.

The case was particularly nasty. A young mother involved in a custody battle with the father of the child was 'fitted-up' with a Class 1 drug by the father, a crooked policeman, a 'dodgy' private detective, and it was alleged Courtney.

The innocent mother of good character was arrested on a false charge based on 'planted' evidence, She was the put in a prison cell and arraigned in court. The dreadful stress this must have caused to this woman, and her family would have to be experienced to fully understand its depth, and all because of her love for her child.

The police responsible for refusing to accept what appeared an open and shut case deserve credit for instigating an undercover operation and proving the innocence of the young mother.

When the case ended only the father of the child, the crooked policeman and the private detective were found guilty. Courtney was found not guilty. The others went to prison.

Outside the Central Criminal Court immediately after the case Courtney announced he had been found not guilty of the charge of perverting the course of justice, and this means he was "not guilty of being a 'grass'."

This is nonsense. He was never charged with being a registered police informer or 'grass' because, unfortunately, there are no such charges on the statute. So it was not possible for him to be found guilty or not guilty

The stance taken by the police at the end of the TV programme that they had no comment to make confirms that they stand by the statement made in open court that Courtney was a registered police informer.

Had the statement been false then the lawyers acting for the police, and the Home Office, would have insisted that a retraction be made.

Courtney also said when the case was over that he would open a 'tin' (sic) of worms. Where are these startling revelations?

There was a claim made by him that he would sue the police for libel.

When this threat was made I said in a Viewpoint that there would be no High Court action against the police. In the absence of legal action by 'Dodgy' Dave it would appear that I was correct.


Any case of 'fitting-up' a person with planted evidence is heinous, but to do it to a mother in a desperate fight to claim custody of her young child is especially grossly offensive.

It takes evil minds to be involved in such a disgusting plot. Once again I know of no respected villain who would not reply with violence if any low-life had the temerity to suggest that he, or she, should be involved.

It is usually taboo for any considerate person to become involved in domestic quarrels unless it is to stop violence.

So just pause for a moment and consider the obscene plot that the conspirators wanted to perpetrate.

An innocent young mother would have most certainly gone to prison for probably at least three years. A child would have been deprived of its mother's love for that period, and may be forever more.

The child may well have grown up despising its mother for being a drug dealer when she should have been a caring mother.

There have been many bad cases involving evil people but this particular one ranks with the vilest

. The father was a scumbag who was prepared to see the mother of his child sent to prison on false evidence, and a spurious charge. Is it wrong therefore to believe that he is no way a fit person to be the legal guardian of the child?

In may view, and I will venture to say in the view of all decent people, he is unquestionably not a fit person.

With that said this was the case that caused 'Dodgy' Dave Courtney to appear in the dock at the Central Criminal Court. For Courtney to give the excuse on the Carlton programme that the reason he was in court was only because he had 'helped a friend', the crooked policeman, only compounded the disgrace of 'Dodgy' Dave.

If a corrupt policeman that is prepared to 'plant' a Class 1 drug on a young mother is such a 'good friend' of Courtney that he was prepared to help in such an offensive case only explains the lack of morals of 'Dodgy' Dave.

For Courtney to say that each time he sees his once ' good friend' he will give him a right-hander is unbelievable. Right-handers are often given for a mere insult.

'Dodgy' Dave is the type that gives villains a bad name.

Carlton TV has also cause to be ashamed. Were they not suspicious that not one respected villain was prepared to be a character witness for 'Dodgy' Dave on the 'Celebrity Villain' programme?

Was not the premise of the charge that caused 'Dodgy' Dave, and the others, to appear in court, cause the people at Carlton to be repugnant, and why did the programme take such a long time to appear on our TV screens?

Perhaps even more remarkable is that TV is prepared to make programmes on alleged villains without the support of respected villains? There is absolutely no doubt that people are fascinated to know true stories of top villains.

Rubbish they can always find in a used dustbin.