'I'll give you some change, I've changed it into fire': Homeless man reveals Cambridge Tory student's taunt as he snatched back £20 note and burned it infront of him
- Video showed Ronald Coyne trying to set fire to note in front of homeless man
- Allegedly drunk student was filmed mocking man in early hours of February 2
- Homeless man in the city says he was disgusted by the student's actions
- 'Remove Ronald Coyne from Cambridge University' started last night
- His mother said she has spoken to her son and couldn't understand behaviour
- Do you know Ronald Coyne? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
A homeless man who says he was taunted by a Cambridge University student has spoken of his 'disgust' at what happened.
Ryan Davies, 31, says he was sleeping on the streets when he was teased by law student Ronald Coyne, who held out the £20 before pulling it back and saying, 'I'll give you some change, I've changed it into fire.'
Ryan, an unemployed crane operator who has been homeless for three months, thought his luck was in - until the Pembroke College student set the money alight.
Ronald Coyne (right), a first-year law student at Pembroke College, taunted a rough sleeper with a £20 note. Ryan Davies (left) says he is disgusted by what happened
Ronald Coyne, wearing a white bow tie and tails, appears to attempt to burn a £20 note in front of the homeless man in a video shared on Snapchat
He said: 'There were some people going past and I was asking them for spare change. I'm homeless. I asked one man for spare change. I was polite about it as I always am.
'He says let's see what I've got and pulls out a £20 note and went to pass it to me.
'I couldn't believe my luck. But then he pulled it back and lit it and said 'I'll give you some change, I've changed it into fire.'
Ryan added: 'It was absolutely disgusting. It was horrible. Just plain nasty. I suppose it's better than getting punched and kicked or even spat on because that has happened before.'
Coyne, 18, a first-year law student at Pembroke College, was dressed in a bow tie and tails when he taunted the rough sleeper.
A petition has now been set up calling for him to be expelled from the University. There has also been calls for him to work 200 hours in a homeless shelter.
Commenting on the petition, Anne Baynham, from Newent, said: 'He needs to learn that you can't treat people this way and then just go about your privileged life with no consequences.'
Others have suggested he must face some sort of punishment and that he 'does not deserve the privilege of education at the Cambridge University'.
The video shows a homeless man (pictured), believed to be Mr Davies, standing in Bridge Street in Cambridge city centre clutching what appears to be a sleeping bag
An online petition to have Mr Coyne expelled from Cambridge University has gained more than 700 signatures
It is believed the shocking Snapchat video was filmed in the early hours of Thursday 2 February and was seen by hundreds of students.
In the film the student struggles to light the note while the camera pans to the homeless person.
The Cambridge University Conservative Association named the student as Ronald Coyne, its communications officer, and said it has now expelled him from the group.
His mother Sandra McLaughlin, 46, said she could not understand her son's behaviour.
Speaking from their family home in Livingston, West Lothian, last night she said: 'I don't recognise that behaviour in my son.
'I don't really know why he's done something so thoughtless and cruel.'
Mr Coyne (pictured) went to the Stewart's Melville school in Edinburgh and this is an extract from his yearbook
Mr Coyne (pictured) is a first year law student at Pembroke College and was a member of Cambridge University Conservative Association
She added: 'It's completely out of character. He did two years of volunteering at Stockbridge shelter homeless shop in Edinburgh when he was still at school.
'It's very surprising. We're just a normal family. We're not toffs, he's not a toff.'
Mr Coyne has taken down all of his online profiles but a fake Facebook account has now been set up in his name. He has yet to make any public comment about the incident.
A Cambridge University spokesperson said: 'This incident has been referred to the University's Disciplinary process. We cannot comment further while this process is underway.'
The behaviour has been likened to a rumoured act performed by Bullingdon Club initiates at the University of Oxford where its claimed they burn £50 notes in front of homeless people.
Do you know Ronald Coyne? Email email@example.com
He was expelled from the CUCA after video of the prank was seen by hundreds of students when it was shared on Snapchat. The incident has also been referred to the University's Disciplinary process