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Cardiff City fan sends tragedy tweet directed at dead Swansea City fan Terry Coles
Friday, 26th Apr 2024 08:00 by Keith Haynes

As a result of the news reported by Sky on Wednesday that five military horses had escaped and ran through central London, a Cardiff City follower thought it wise to relate the incident to the death of Swansea fan Terry Coles, 42.

For some context, Terry Coles was trampled to death by a police horse at Rotherham United Football Club within the enclosed entrances at Millmoor Lane in 2000. This happened in South Yorkshire at an end of season match some twenty four years ago. The Swans were playing Rotherham and had to take at least a point to win the third division title. Thousands of Swansea fans were in and around the ground when tragedy struck. Many Swans fans were unaware of the tragedy until after the game. Remarkably, this was the first death involving a police horse in the UK for some twenty years.

Swansea City Football Club eventually honoured Terry in 2020 with the unveiling of a plaque.

Terry’s daughter, Natalie and his ex wife, Christine have regularly asked for a review of the evidence leading to Terry’s death. In 2003 the death was judged as accidental. In 2005, Supt Dave Turner, Ch Insp Paul Cropley and PC Dave Lindsay were adjudged to have ‘failed their duty’. Cropley and Lindsay escaped any punishment as they had retired, Turner was offered ‘words of advice’ The family remain convinced there should be a full review of the evidence.

Unfortunately an account on Twitter that claims to be connected to Harri Ryan, a footballer aged twenty two who plays for Church Village FC found humour in this weeks event. The news of horses running free in London was related to the death of Terry Coles. The tweet since removed is below.

You will also note a photograph purporting to be Harri Ryan and this Twitter account has two photographs of horses the day before Swansea City v Cardiff City derby matches. The gas mask is an often used insult towards Swansea City fans as a result of the suicide of Alan Davies a Swansea player in 1992. He took his own life in a motor vehicle inhaling fumes. This account also likes and retweets posts from Church Village FC, and the account holder is noted as scoring a penalty for the club in October 2023. We expect a police investigation to be opened today on the matter by South Wales Police.

Having considered an email from club secretary, Andrew Davies at Church Village FC regards this situation we have removed their logo from this report. No other edits will be made. The information connecting Harri to the club as a player will remain. We fully understand that they want to distance themselves from this individual, they have now issued a statement. .

Criminal legislation is clear, tragedy chanting and posting of such events on social media are unlawful. There have been several instances this season where visible signs and representations have led to prosecutions. The offences can fall within the public order act 1986 or contravene malicious communications legislation. Football banning orders are directed by the Crown Prosecution Service. As they state, “When such abuse takes place online, it may constitute an offence under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 (sending a letter, electronic communication or article with intent to cause distress or anxiety) or section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 (improper use of public electronic communications network).” The CPS also suggest no out of court disposal for such offensive online abuse. (Cautions and warnings)

In this case a person who uses this Twitter account either as the actual named person, or purports to be this person has committed a severe offence. It’s entirely right we run this story this morning. This is not banter, it isn’t even extreme banter, it’s downright shocking behaviour from a person (if this Twitter account is right) wasn’t even alive when Terry Coles died. It’s probably best if this individual hands themselves in, takes the punishment and has a thought for the family of Terry Coles who find his death very raw even twenty four years after his death.

This isn’t the first time abuse towards Terry and his family has been hatched by Cardiff City fans. But today surely is time to bring it to an end ?

Photographs Open Source

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