Watch the video of a Cambridge Tory burning money in front of a homeless man

His mum says he’s been giving tea to the homeless


This is the video of Cambridge fresher Ronald Coyne burning a £20 note in front of a homeless man in the early hours of February 2nd. The Pembroke College student is set to be disciplined by the university amid calls for him to be kicked out. The video was passed to The Tab by a Cambridge student.

The video shows Ronald Coyne attempting to set fire to the note, and failing. The video pans to the homeless man with another bystander. Ronald then says: “Some homeless shelter.”

The next clip shows him walking away down the street in white tie and tails. His words are inaudible. See the full video below.

Ryan Davies says he was the homeless man subjected to Ronald’s tormenting. He said: “He looked like a usual person. I said: ‘Could you spare some change please sir?’ He says ‘Let me see what I’ve got.’

“He took out a £20 note, he’s gone to pass it. I thought I couldn’t believe my luck, know what I mean. Then he pulled it back, lit it, burnt it, and said: ‘How’s that for change? I’ve changed it into flames.’ I was absolutely disgusted.”

The Law fresher has deleted his Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and could not be contacted for comment. Cambridge have announced Ronald now faces disciplinary action. A spokesperson told The Tab: “We are aware of an incident that took place in the early hours of Thursday 2nd February 2017. This incident has been referred to the University’s Disciplinary process. We cannot comment further while this process is underway.”

Ronald’s mum, Sandra McLaughlin, said he had worked for a charity shop for the homeless during his school years. She said she couldn’t understand his behaviour. She told the Daily Mail: “I don’t really know why he’s done something so thoughtless and cruel. It’s completely out of character.

“We’re just a normal family. We’re not toffs, he’s not a toff. He’s been a very hard working student who is very, very lucky and aware of the privilege he has to study at Cambridge. He spoke to us after the event and said he’d done something very stupid and felt really bad about it.

“He went out a few nights later around Cambridge with one of his friends to do the homeless run and give out tea, coffee and sandwiches to them. And this was before the Press and ourselves caught on to what he’d done. He’s a quiet boy, he wasn’t a wild teenager, he was in chess club at school.”

Once a prominent member of Cambridge University Conservative Association (CUCA), Coyne was sacked from his position as Communications and Publicity Officer after the video emerged. Joe Mathieson, CUCA’s chairman, told The Tab yesterday that they’d revoked his membership as soon as they’d heard. He added: “This was on the basis that there is absolutely no place for people who behave like this in our Association.”

Nicola Sturgeon’s people have distanced her from the fresher, who was reported to be his nephew by Varsity – a student paper in Cambridge. It turned out he was not a direct relation and “his dad is the brother of the ex-husband of the sister of the First Minister’s husband.”

A petition calling for his expulsion from the university has been started, with over 1,000 signatures at the time of publication. Tory MP Phillip Dunne cancelled last night’s visit “due to unforeseen circumstances”. And Ronald has also been called a knob jockey by rapper Professor Green.

The Tab Cambridge broke the story yesterday at 12:41pm, and The Tab decided to name him a few hours later. Today the story has been covered across the media.



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