Following a Cambridge University student setting fire to a £20 note in front of a homeless man, a petition has been launched to have him expelled.
A SnapChat video has circulated, showing student Ronald Coyne struggling to set the note on fire while wearing a white bow tie and tails. The camera then panned across to the homeless man he was taunting.
Coyne, the communications officer of the University’s Conservative Association has been fired from his position following the outrage caused by his actions.
Additionally, a petition entitled “Remove Ronald Coyne from Cambridge University” has been launched, demanding his expulsion and that he be made to work at a homeless shelter.
Ronald’s mom, Sandra McLaughlin (46) has spoken about the incident, revealing that her son has previously volunteered at a homeless shelter for two years and “felt really bad about” setting the money on fire in front of the homeless man.
“I don’t recognise that behaviour in my son. I don’t really know why he’s done something so thoughtless and cruel. It’s completely out of character. He did two years of volunteering at a shelter homeless shop in Edinburgh. It’s very surprising. We’re just a normal family. We’re not toffs, he’s not a toff. He’s been a hard-working student who is very, very lucky and aware of the privilege he has to study at Cambridge.”
She continued, saying
“It’s been stressful. I’m starting to panic because I can’t get a hold of him. 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. He’s obviously known what he’s done himself. It’s baffling. He wasn’t a wild teenager, he was in chess club at school.”