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The Photo Issue 2011

One Flash Bastard

Reformed gangster Dave Courtney is known as the “yellow pages of the underworld” because of his extensive criminal contacts. On occasion he has been shot at, stabbed, and, by his own admission, committed gratuitous acts of violence and...
July 1, 2011, 12:00am

Reformed gangster Dave Courtney is known as the “yellow pages of the underworld” because of his extensive criminal contacts. On occasion he has been shot at, stabbed, and, by his own admission, committed gratuitous acts of violence and other activities the law frowns on. Nowadays, that life is behind him, and he makes his living as an author and actor. I recently spent some time with Dave at Camelot, his home in South East London, where I photographed a rather dark period in his life. A multimillion-dollar Hollywood deal he was counting on had just fallen through, his house was under threat of repossession, and his wife was facing a firearms offense and potential jail time. His legal and financial struggles were apparent, but there was an underlying, more permanent dilemma—how do you maintain a profile as a gangster when you’re no longer a criminal?

See more of Dave Courtney in Rule Britannia: Fraud, coming soon on VBS.TV.