South West Wales

Horse trampled football fan Terry Coles evidence review plea

Terry Coles Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Mr Coles died after suffering abdominal injuries

The widow of a Swansea football fan who died after being trampled by a police horse 16 years ago has called for a review of the evidence.

Terry Coles was struck near Rotherham's football ground in 2000 and an inquest concluded his death was accidental.

John Morse Solicitors called for a fresh review as the findings of a police watchdog inquiry were not known at the time of the inquest.

South Yorkshire Police has been asked to comment.

Mr Coles' widow, Christine Coles, said she hoped to ask the force to "reconsider the evidence" and "re-address all the issues".

"At the end of the day, nobody deserves to go to a match and die. It was an accident that should never ever have happened," she said.

"I feel this is our last chance really. There's no good being bitter, you have to move on with your life but it was a very traumatic experience and something that will always be with us," she added.

Mr Coles had travelled to Rotherham's Millmoor ground with other Swansea City fans for the final game of the season on 6 May 2000.

But before the match started, trouble broke out between opposing fans and Mr Coles died after suffering abdominal injuries after he was struck by a police horse.

An inquest at Doncaster Magistrates' Court in 2003 heard the incident was unavoidable as Mr Coles, who was four times over the drink-drive limit at the time of his death, had walked into the horse's path.

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Media captionChristine Coles hopes to ask the force to "reconsider the evidence"

A later review by the Independent Police Complaints Commission found the actions of three officers; Supt Dave Turner, Ch Insp Paul Cropley and PC Dave Lindsay amounted to "a failure of duty".

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

Mrs Coles took civil action against South Yorkshire Police but lost the High Court claim for compensation in 2005.

John Morse Solicitors, who previously acted for Mrs Coles and her family, backed her call for a review of evidence.

"South Yorkshire Police and the IPCC should release their files in their entirety to Mrs Coles and her lawyers to consider whether an application should also be made to the court to allow an appeal out of time against the findings of the judge in striking out part of the claim and a rehearing ordered," the firm said.

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