‘I’ve had a wicked life’: Dave Courtney’s friends release video of him laughing before he was found dead aged 64

24 October 2023, 20:20 | Updated: 25 October 2023, 09:36

Courtney had filmed the video three months before his death.
Courtney had filmed the video three months before his death. Picture: Social media
Jasmine Moody

By Jasmine Moody

Friends of gangster-turned-actor Dave Courtney have released video footage of him taken before he died where he tells them "I've had a wicked life."

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The reformed gangster was found dead in his home on Sunday morning. He filmed himself speaking about plans to take his own life and why he wanted to - saying he was in "crippling" pain.

He says in the clip he "had not taken the decision to take his own life lightly, and had gone into thorough planning and preparation to ensure as little pain as possible for his loved ones in the aftermath of his death."

Mr Courtney seems calm and jovial and is often smiling at the camera as he reminisces about his life in the clip.

He starts the video by saying: "As you can see I am sound mind and body. Sorry, I took the coward’s way out."

He explained that his arthritis is causing him "crippling” pain".

Warning: This video contains explicit language and details of suicide.

Following examination of Dave's personal effects by Mr Brendan McGirr, a video has been found that was filmed on the 5th July 2023 in his Camelot Castle home in Plumstead. The video clearly shows Dave had not taken the decision to take his own life lightly, and had gone into thorough planning and preparation to ensure as little pain as possible for his loved ones in the aftermath of his death.

Posted by Dave Courtney OBE Official on Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Courtney added: "I can't get up and down the stairs and in and out of the car".

He added: "I am not enjoying it [life] at the moment. That is really it and I don't want to waste a wicked life that I have had. It has been superb."

"Any day I can think back on, it was funny and brilliant."

Read more: Celeb gangster Dave Courtney ‘took own life after battle with cancer and arthritis,’ his family say as police probe death

Read more: Notorious former London gangster-turned-actor Dave Courtney dies aged 64

Before becoming an actor and author, he was a notorious gangster and was known for claiming to have links to the criminal Kray twins.

Although he was just nine years old when the criminal duo were jailed, he claimed to have arranged the security for Ronnie Kray’s funeral in 1995.

He also alleged he was the target of multiple murder attempts and that he inspired Vinnie Jones’ character in the film Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels.

Courtney went on to become an actor and an author.
Courtney went on to become an actor and an author. Picture: Alamy

Courtney featured in crime documentaries and low-budget gangster films and penned six books, where he claimed to have been found not guilty in 19 separate trials.

In the video, he denied rumours that he had been "a police grass", adding that he kept over 100 friends out of prison due to his police contacts.

The video ends with Courtney smiling and shrugging, concluding with: "Um… Well… That's it really."

Courtney is filmed often chuckling and smiling in the goodbye video.
Courtney is filmed often chuckling and smiling in the goodbye video. Picture: Social media

Courtney was found dead by his best friend, Brendan McGirr, 57, at his home on Chestnut Rise, Plumstead, on Sunday 22 October.

He was last pictured on Saturday watching his football team Charlton in a League One match and sharing a meal with friends.

The ex-gangster shared photos of himself beaming with friends at the match, captioned: "An wat a cool cool day it's all turning out to be."

Courtney shared a photo of himself at the match on Saturday.
Courtney shared a photo of himself at the match on Saturday. Picture: Facebook

His death was announced in a post on his social media accounts: "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."

The statement said details of his funeral would be announced in "due course.

"His family asks for respect during this period of mourning", it added.

Those feeling distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK

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