Dave Courtney Hit?

Below is an article that appeared in the Sunday People on 18/8/02. It reports an incident that happened the previous week.

'LOCK STOCK' DAVE IN GANGLAND HIT

CELEBRITY hardman Dave Courtney suffered horrific injuries after gangland hitmen forced his car off the road, The People can reveal.

Courtney - who inspired Vinnie Jones's character in the hit film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels - was left for dead as his Range Rover somersaulted off a dual carriageway at 70mph.

Speaking with great difficulty from his hospital bed last night, Courtney said: "They were out to kill me. "The whole thing is a blur. The pain is awful but I'm just grateful to still be alive. And I'm convinced somebody, somewhere wants me dead."

The 43-year-old former villain turned actor suffered a broken pelvis, punctured lung, four broken ribs, a broken foot and bruised kidneys after his car was "bumped" off the A2 in south-east London.

He was driving home to Plumstead in a 20,000 Range Rover belonging to his best pal Brendan McGirr.

McGirr told The People. "Dave is in a bad, bad way. He looked a total mess after I first saw him in hospital.

"But he is very tough and it'll take more than this to get rid of him. Even though he's in a lot of pain and having to be sedated, he'll not let this beat him." The Range Rover hit a crash barrier, broke a lamp-post, and rolled down a bank.

McGirr added: "Dave was thrown out of a window before the car finally came to a stop.

"If this was just an accident, why didn't the other driver stop?

"We believe he was left for dead by someone who had a grudge against him and was trying to shut him up."Courtney, who organised security at gangster Ronnie Kray's funeral in 1995, said that a car "came out of nowhere" beside him.

His anxious wife Jennifer, 30, rushed to his hospital bedside in Dartford, Kent, after the crash last Sunday.

She said: "I am just grateful he made it out of the wreckage alive and is going to make a full recovery." Police confirmed the crash but wouldn't comment on whether it was a gangland hit.