CUCA confirms Pembroke undergraduate as student accused in burning cash scandal

Image credit: Rept0n1x via Wikimedia Commons

In response to request for comment by The Cambridge Student, the Cambridge University Conservative Association has confirmed that the individual who is alleged to have burnt a £20 note in front of a homeless man on Bridge Street last Thursday is Pembroke student Ronald Coyne.

In their statement, a spokesperson for CUCA commented that they “became aware of serious allegations against Ronald Coyne late last week concerning his private behaviour.

“There is no room for people who behave like that in our Association, any other University Association, or frankly our University.”

The spokesperson also reiterated the fact that the incident “did not take place before or after any CUCA event”. 

“His resignation was immediately demanded and we determined the appropriate response to be to permanently revoke his membership and bar him from all future events, which we did on Saturday.” 

CUCA previously identified Coyne as a member of the Cambridge Union, the Law Society, and the Pembroke student body, as well as confirming that he was, up to the point of his resignation, the Communications and Publicity Officer for the Association.

The incident has been widely reported in national papers from The Mirror and The Daily Mail to The Guardian and The Telegraph

Pembroke College has restricted comments on their Facebook page for a temporary period, calling for a "period of calm reflection" concerning "an incident by a student which has caused distress and outrage to many people.

"We are committed to respecting the rights and dignity of all members of our community. We expect our students to treat others with respect, courtesy and consideration at all times, and take allegations of unacceptable behaviour very seriously. However, social media is not the most suitable media for every type of discussion."

Coyne's mother has spoken to The Daily Mail about the incident, calling it "thoughtless and cruel" as well as "completely out of character".

"He's been a hard-working student who is very, very lucky and aware of the privilege he has to study at Cambridge. It's been stressful. I'm starting to panic because I can't get a hold of him." 

A University spokesperson also told The Daily Mail: "The University is committed to respecting the rights and dignity of all members of our community.

"We expect our students to treat others with respect, courtesy and consideration at all times, and the University takes allegations of unacceptable behaviour very seriously.

"We do not comment on individual cases."

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