Dave Courtneys feud with mad gangster who shoved poo in prison officers gob

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    Before Dave Courtney became an actor and showman, he was a sinister debt collector and gangster who claimed he had to kill to stay alive.

    But Courtney settled many feuds after turning his back on crime – and tributes have flooded in for him since his tragic death was announced over the weekend.

    The gangland figure, 64, reportedly shot himself in the head at his home in Plumstead, south London, hours after watching a Charlton Athletic match.

    READ MORE: Gangster Dave Courtney had three course meal before firearm death in huge castle home

    For more of the latest news, click here.

    After hearing the news, one of his former enemies, Bernard O’Mahoney, an Essex Boys associate, wrote online: “I have received a call saying my old adversary Dave Courtney has taken his own life with a gun. I hope it isn't true for his children's sake but it came from someone close to him. Thinking of his loved ones who have endured such sadness in the past.”

    But while some rivals became friends, one man who stayed foe until the bitter end was ‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser. The pint-sized villain stood at just 5’4.

    He was the enforcer for the Richardson gang, where he infamously pulled out peoples teeth with pliers. His “torture trials” also involved victims being burned and whipped.

    But as one of the godfathers of London's underworld, who spent 42 years behind bars for violent offences, he took aim at “Dodgy” Dave Courtney because he felt he fabricated stories and told lies about his past.

    Courtney claimed he had links to the Kray twins and that he organised security for Ronnie's funeral back in 1995 – but East End hardman Fraser felt he was all talk.

    He believed Courtney, whose life was said to have inspired Vinnie Jones’ character in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, should have no place among gangland legends.

    “He hasn’t earned the right to be in such company,” he was quoted as saying back in 1999 while also claiming he was a “grass”.

    Courtney took exception to this and even said he was looking forward to when Fraser took his final breath, which he did in 2014 after his family withdrew his life support.

    Speaking in a documentary called Mad Frank, he said: “What do I think about Frankie Fraser? To be honest I very rarely think of Frankie Fraser.

    “I was at first meeting him in awe, the same as everyone else is when you meet one of these celebrity gangsters. In my hunger to learn I believed everything I heard and the man does not match the myth.

    “I actually took Frankie Fraser to a memorable meeting in Maidstone Prison where he met Reggie Kray and Charlie Richardson and Charlie Kray and all that and I spoke to him on the way home and the way there so I know what a two faced naughty little man he is.

    “If you actually have an argument with a fellow villain… because the press are hot on your tail trying to discredit you and make you look bad, you should keep your disagreements in house and Frank has broken the golden rule and not done that.”

    He added: “The word grass is so easily thrown about and it it something that… it is a word that the penalty for is death. So it is something that should only be said when you are 100% certain.”

    Courtney walked from the Old Bailey a free man in 2000 after being accused of planting cocaine on an innocent woman.

    He was named as a registered police informant but later said he was pretending to have a relationship with a corrupt detective. Courtney said: “I have never been a grass.”

    Courtney claimed he also arrived at the home of Fraser to speak about their grievances but said he refused to engage with him. And he believes Fraser, who he called a “cretin”, was the real liar and that any suggestion that he killed 40 people were rubbish.

    Giving him a chilling message on camera, he said: “I didn’t want to enter an argument because normally when I enter one I like to win it and you can’t even punch him, he’s 78 years old, he will break. You understand what I mean? It’s awful.

    “But I cannot let this opportunity go by, Frank, without telling you that you most likely only have about five years to live and I will be a very happy man when I see them throw dirt on you.”

    As for his fearsome reputation, he added: “I do not think Frank deserves his hardman reputation, unless he has shrunk about four feet since he was a young man, he has always been a midget. There is nothing hard in giving someone a good hiding that is already tied to a chair.”

    But by most accounts, Fraser, despite his short height, was someone not to be messed with. One man who served time with him was self-confessed drugs kingpin Michael Showers, who said Fraser was responsible for the most shocking act he ever saw behind bars.

    Chatting to podcaster James English, he spoke about how Fraser ambushed a prison officer with a handful of poo.

    He said: “They opened the door and he had s*** in his hand and he pushed into his mouth …up his nose …everywhere. The screw was vomiting everywhere.”

    Fraser maintained his intimidating demeanour even as an older man – who had nothing to prove having spent four decades in jail.

    Professor Dick Hobbs spoke to Daily Star about what it was like going to the gangster’s flat in 1995 for a documentary. Fraser initially answered his buzzer to say that he was John Major before telling Hobbs he was just joking.

    And reflecting on what he was like in person, he told us: “As we walked up the stairs I was faced by the biggest 5ft5 man I had ever seen in my life. He was standing there at the top of the stairs and he had the sun shining in behind him.

    "He knew exactly what he was doing. He wore pristine formal trousers and a smart white shirt and he was letting us know he was the boss.”

    The Richardson enforcer offered criminologist Hobbs and his producer a hot drink before getting offended when only one of them accepted it.

    Hobbs said: “He shouted ‘Have a coffee!’ and my colleague said ‘Yes, alright then’ and that was that, we were having a coffee.

    “He had very dark eyes and he would look right into you. There was just something about him and it is very hard to say what it was… But his eyes for sure and the way he carried himself.

    "He was the only villain I’ve ever met who was full on villain and he was unapologetic. He had no regrets and was all about villainy.

    "I met him maybe 10 years later and by then he was an older man but he still had those dark eyes and jet black hair and he was still sharp mentally.

    “He was just so committed to the criminal way of life. Frankie was staunch, didn’t grass and was an old school villain and he was probably the last of those.”

    As for his old nemesis Courtney, you can read about his wild life here – from 'Rice Krispying' rival with hot oil to sex tape scandal.

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