Gangster-turned-actor Dave Courtney shoots himself dead at home aged 64
After going from a life of crime to writing and acting, notorious London hardman Dave Courtney took his life with a gun at his so-called ‘Camelot Castle’ home in the early hours of Sunday.
Notorious hardman Dave Courtney has shot himself dead at his home aged 64.
Once an associate of the Kray twins – and said to be the inspiration for Vinnie Jones’ Big Chris character in Guy Ritchie’s ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ film – the gangster-turned-actor and writer was found dead on Sunday (22.10.23) at his so-called ‘Camelot Castle’ house in London with a gunshot wound to the head.
A statement posted on Dave’s Instagram on Sunday said: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Dave Courtney at the age of 64.
“Dave tragically took his own life in the early hours of Sunday 22nd October, with a firearm at his Camelot Castle home in Plumstead.
“Details about funeral arrangements will be provided in due course. His family ask for respect during this period of mourning.”
The Metropolitan Police said officers attended a property on Chestnut Rise, in Plumstead, south-east London, on Sunday.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene and his death is being treated as unexpected and is under investigation.
No arrests have been made and his family have been informed, the Met confirmed.
The Sun has reported Dave’s death happened around 4am on Sunday. (22.10.23)
Police are said to have been called to the ex-gangland figure’s property around 11am.
His death came hours after Dave shared a series of snaps as he watched his beloved Charlton Athletic football team play on Saturday.
Dave’s upset neighbour Sheila Wellcome, 68, told The Sun a friend of Dave’s rang to tell her on Sunday morning that he had been “shot”.
She added on Sunday: “I saw Dave at around 8pm last night – he seemed in good spirits after going to the Charlton match with his friends.
“I passed him a cigarette over the wall an hour later and he was laughing and joking, then said he was tired and going to go to bed.
“Then I got a call this morning from his friend Brendan, who lives with him, saying Dave has been shot and is dead, and the police also told me he’d died.
“We knew Dave was in a lot of pain. He was suffering with terrible arthritis – he could barely roll a cigarette.
“But he seemed happy. He’d just got his driving licence back and was getting a new Peugeot which he was really excited about.
“I just can’t believe I’m never going to see him again. It’s so sad.”
Retired finance office worker and gran-of-six Sheila said Courtney owned around 12 decommissioned firearms including handguns, shotguns and rifles which he kept in his front room.
She added: “Police used to come round and check on them occasionally.
“To Dave, they were just ornaments.”
Dave referred to himself as Dave Courtney OBE – One Big Ego.
His death comes after he appeared in court in July for having knuckledusters, daggers and throwing stars in his home.
But Courtney had the charges dropped against him after they were found to be props for a film.
In 2017 he suffered a minor heart attack which he vowed wouldn’t be the end of him.
He had also claimed to have been shot, stabbed and had his nose bitten off, during a life of crime and violence.
Dave appeared as a gangster in a series of low-rent crime films including ‘Six Bend Trap’, ‘The Dead Sleep Easy’, ‘Killer B****’, ‘Mob Handed’ and ‘Mother’s Child’ alongside actors such as Craig Charles and Nick Moran.
He had been writing his 10th book and recently told about how proud he was of his life, adding: “I’m a lucky man. If I was to die tomorrow I would die smiling. I’ve got beautiful friends. Had far too many beautiful ladies in my life.”