Page last updated at 18:01 GMT, Thursday, 10 December 2009

Author cleared of weapons charges

Dave Courtney
Mr Courtney said the weapons were ornaments on his walls

Gangland celebrity author Dave Courtney has been cleared of having three guns illegally at his "Camelot" home.

A jury at the Old Bailey took just two hours to find him not guilty of three charges of having prohibited weapons.

The court was told swords and guns were "festooned" over the walls of his King Arthur-themed home in Plumstead, south London.

But Courtney, 50, said they were on the walls as ornaments, along with suits of armour and swords.

Auditors were sent in to look for assets after Courtney became bankrupt earlier in 2009.

They called police, who found three banned weapons - a gas cartridge firing handgun and rifle, and a gold sprayed "James Bond" revolver which shot blanks.

'King Arthur'

Courtney told the jury the weapons were part of the stock of his wife Jennifer's theatrical props business.

When asked why he put them on the walls, he said: "It's better than having them in boxes under the stairs."

Paul Cavin, prosecuting, said of the property: "It is fair to state that there is more than a little element of castles and King Arthur."

Courtney has made a living out of making films and writing books about underworld connections, mainly in the 1960s and 1970s.

He also produced and starred in his own film, which featured in the Cannes film festival in 2001, and told the court he had written nine books.



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