Pembroke student apologises for burning £20 note on Bridge Street

Sophie Dickinson 31 August 2017
Image credit: Rept0n1x / Wikimedia Commons

The Pembroke student who was filmed setting fire to a twenty pound note in front of a homeless man on Bridge Street in February has written a letter of apology to the students of his college, which was received today.

Ronald Coyne, a first-year lawyer at the time, was the subject of national media attention as a result of his actions.

The letter details that as a result of ‘an ongoing disciplinary process on a university and college level’, he ‘couldn’t respond publicly.’ However, as a result of a conclusion of these processes, Coyne writes that he now wants to ‘take the opportunity to apologise.’

The student goes on to say that:

‘My actions were wrong and without thought or consideration. I abused my privilege as a student at such a great university, and behaved in a way which is totally contrary to the values of the university and of its students… The gift of a great education should be a tool to enrich society, not an excuse to debase it.’

He also details that as part of his disciplinary action he has ‘addressed the root causes of my behaviour by attending awareness classes, relating to both alcohol and social inclusion.’

The letter ends by noting the press coverage of the events, and acknowledging the public response. Coyne writes, ‘when the media commentary flared up, strangers sent piles of abusive mail to my family home threatening me with violence, and chemical attacks. I received some sympathetic letters and emails from people who thought that the online abuse went too far. To those people, I am still grateful.’

The final line of the letter shows Coyne ‘repeating [his] deep regret at the offence and hurt caused by [his] actions’, and ‘asking for a second chance.’