‘I’m hurting’: Ex-gangster Dave Courtney recorded video explaining why he took his own life

Former gangster Courtney said he had been hiding ‘a lot of pain’, in clip shared by loved ones days after his death

Barney Davis
Wednesday 25 October 2023 15:20 BST
<p>Dave Courtney made a video explaining why he was planning on taking his own life </p>

Dave Courtney made a video explaining why he was planning on taking his own life

Former gangster Dave Courtney recorded an emotional video explaining why he was going to take his own life, three months before his death.

The 64-year-old was found dead at his home in Plumstead, south east London on Sunday.

On Tuesday evening the two-minute video was posted to his social media platforms with a message saying he had planned “to ensure as little pain as possible for his loved ones”.

Courtney laughs to camera but describes the pain that he was in

Courtney opened the clip, filmed in July, by saying he had “taken the coward’s way out”.

“Don’t go racking your brains and thinking why I would do this…I’ll tell you why,” he explains in a video shot in front of his extensive gun rack. “No woman trouble or anything like that. I am hurting. And disguising a lot of pain.”

He explains to his camera that arthritis “is crippling me” and he has been hiding his inability to get down the stairs.

“I can’t get up and down the stairs and in and out of the car,” he says. “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.”

“I am not enjoying it and I do what I want. That really is why I am not here today. Don’t be sad. Please don’t be sad.”

The former gangster left a message to his family and fans

His official Facebook page released the last video captioning the clip: “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.”

His long-time housemate Brendan McGirr said Courtney spent his last night on earth watching England lose to South Africa in the Rugby World Cup semi-final.

He saw his beloved Charlton FC win on the Saturday before his death

Mr McGirr revealed Courtney’s final words were him joking about England’s last-minute loss, telling his pal “that’s typical, I’m going to bed”.

His family posted a statement on X that said: “On October 22 2023, Dave made the decision to stop the ride.

“He had lived an incredible, colourful, rock ‘n’ roll life in which he touched the hearts of so many.

“The physical pain of living the lifestyle he chose, especially due to the pain of both cancer and arthritis in his later years, became too much.”

Courtney, who claimed to be an associate of the notorious Kray twins, was rumoured to be the inspiration behind Vinnie Jones’s character in Guy Ritchie’s gangster film Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels.

However, he swapped his life of crime to become an author. He published six books, and starred in a film called Hell To Pay.

The Metropolitan Police the death is currently being treated as unexpected and is under investigation.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress, or struggling to cope, you can speak to the Samaritans, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

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