Genson Courtney murder: Pair jailed for 'execution' of drug dealing stepson of gangland author Dave Courtney
Thursday 23 May 2013
Two men have been jailed for life for shooting the stepson of gangland celebrity and author Dave Courtney.
Drug dealer Genson Courtney, 23, was executed by his uncle David Pinto, who shot him through the left eye.
Pinto, 33, and getaway driver Robert Bleach, 46, both of Greenwich, south-east London, were found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey last week.
They were sentenced using a videolink following fears of disturbances involving Pinto and members of his family in the public gallery.
Judge Wendy Joseph said they must serve a minimum term of 31 years.
She said: "The gun was put to his head and he was effectively executed."
Dave Courtney had been due to give evidence at the trial but his evidence was read when he failed to turn up.
Genson Courtney had made threats to Pinto and demanded £1,100 he said he was owed, jurors heard.
Jonathan Rees QC, prosecuting, said he was shot as he was getting into his car outside his girlfriend's flat in Banning Street, Greenwich, on July 3 2011.
Mr Rees said: "The bullet travelled through the eye socket into the brain, lodging at the rear of the skull.
"The shooting had all the hallmarks of a cold-blooded execution.
"A getaway car was waiting nearby."
Mr Rees said there had been a "beef" between Mr Courtney and his uncle in the fortnight before his death and Mr Courtney was looking to "settle scores" with David Pinto.
"The motive behind the killing was that David Pinto was concerned that Genson Courtney was after him and sought to eliminate the threat that he posed."
Mr Rees said Mr Courtney was the son of Dave Courtney's wife Jenny who was also the sister of Pinto.
He had been jailed twice and had said he was taking steroids to build himself up to rob drug dealers.
On June 22, Genson Courtney had woken "in a bad mood" and had got into an argument with his stepfather about the mortgage payments on Camelot, the family home in Plumstead.
Mr Rees said of Dave Courtney: "He is a man who in the past has courted media attention and had a reputation as a former gangster well connected in the criminal underworld."
The two men went to the nearby common and "Genson Courtney punched his stepfather, knocking him to the ground", Mr Rees said.
"In total, he hit Dave Courtney three times before he drove off leaving him bloodied and battered."
Later that day, he was stopped from striking Dave Courtney with a golf club saying: "Do you remember when you knocked me out in the past?"
But the dispute between Genson and Dave Courtney was settled a couple of days later when Genson went to the house and gave his stepfather a hug, Mr Rees added.
Genson Courtney said he wanted to settle scores with other members of his family, in particular his uncle David.
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