Notorious gangster Dave Courtney tried to kill himself three months before he took his own life, an inquest has heard.
Courtney, 64, shot himself in the head with a 9mm pistol at his home Camelot Castle home in Plumstead three months after releasing a video discussing the agonising pain he was in. An inquest was kicked off today (Wednesday, November 22) by coroner Julian Morris.
The charismatic former gang member had been suffering from prostate cancer and arthritis and is understood to have been in severe pain prior to taking his own life in the early hours of October 22. Courtney had been a part of the infamous Richardson gang based in south London, which had rivalled the notorious Kray Firm.
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Courtney over the years admitted that he had suffered all manner of violent injuries including having been shot, stabbed and even had his nose bitten off and reattached. In his final moments, he is understood to have been watching Charlton Athletic as they beat Reading 4-1 in League One at The Valley.
He is also understood to have scoffed a slap-up three-course dinner and posted images of himself on social media. Courtney famously once claimed that he inspired Vinnie Jones's character in Guy Ritchie's Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels.
Upon his death, police initially declared his death "not suspicious but unexplained". The court heard that a series of videos were found on his phone of him saying goodbye to loved ones.
In his later years, he moved into acting and authoring, leaving his criminal past behind.
Courtney's cause of death has been confirmed in the inquest that he suffered a 9mm bullet wound to the head. He was found dead on his bed by a pal who had gone to his room to check and see if he wanted a cup of tea.
Kikcking off the inquest, the coroner said: “Police were called on Sunday 22 October at approximately 11:26 am to 18 Chestnut Rise, SE18 which was Mr Courtney’s home. The police were called by a friend who had found Mr Courtney with a gunshot wound.”
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