Sheffield & South Yorkshire

CCTV of fan struck by police horse should be re-examined, say family

Terry Coles
Image caption Mr Coles had travelled with other Swansea fans for the final game of the season on 6 May 2000

Footage showing the moment a man was fatally struck by a police horse should have been shown at his inquest, his family have said.

Swansea City fan Terry Coles died after the incident near Rotherham United's former Millmoor ground in May 2000.

An inquest in 2003 concluded the 42-year-old's death was accidental.

His family are now calling for a fresh investigation into his death, with previously undisclosed evidence to be included.

Mr Coles had travelled with other Swansea fans for the final game of the season on 6 May 2000.

But before the match started, trouble broke out between opposing fans in a narrow lane beside the ground.

The inquest at Doncaster Magistrates' Court in 2003 heard Mr Coles, who was four times over the drink-drive limit, had walked into the horse's path.

Image caption His widow, Christine Coles, maintains the horse went straight into her late husband's path

Mr Coles died after suffering abdominal injuries, leaving behind a wife and two children.

His friend John Gibbs told the BBC's Inside Out sending a police horse down the alleyway was "an accident waiting to happen."

Another eyewitness said he saw the horse being ridden "straight at Terry". Alan Roberts gave a statement to police but was not called to give evidence at the inquest, his statement was read out instead.

The inquest jury also never watched the CCTV.

Mr Coles' widow Christine said: "I actually viewed the tape. And until this day, I definitely say that the horse went directly into [Terry's] path."

An Independent Police Complaints Commission review found the actions of officers Supt Dave Turner, Chf Insp Paul Cropley and PC Dave Lindsay (who was riding the horse) was "a failure of duty".

Supt Dave Turner received a verbal warning, but no action was taken against the other two who had retired and were no longer subject to the police disciplinary code.

The family only discovered this year that Chf Insp Cropley and PC Lindsay were on duty at the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

South Yorkshire Police said: "We are now working with the family's legal team to gain a better understanding of their concerns."

Carolyn Harris MP for Swansea East and Shadow Home Office Minister said: "Whether it is an organisation like South Yorkshire Police for the way they organised the planning for that football match, or whether it is an individual, somebody made a decision that it would be policed in such a way. "

You can see the story on BBC Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire at 19:30 on Friday 21 October on BBC One.

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