A Cambridge University student has been booted out of the Cambridge University Conservative Association after he was seen taunting a homeless man by lighting money on fire right in front of him.
The Times reports that the Conservative political club decided to rescind the membership of 18-year-old Pembroke College law student Ronald Coyne after footage emerged of him drunkenly responding to a homeless man’s pleas for change by setting a £20 note aflame.
“I’ll give you some change,” Coyne said as he started burning the currency, according to The Daily Mail. “I’ve changed it into fire!”
Coyne’s mother, Sandra McLaughlin, told The Times that her son’s actions were “thoughtless and cruel,” while insisting that she didn’t raise him to act in such ways.
“We’re just a normal family,” she told the publication. “We’re not toffs, he’s not a toff.”
Nonetheless, the homeless man who was teased by Coyne was not amused by his antics.
“‘It was absolutely disgusting,” 31-year-old Ryan Davies told The Daily Mail. “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.”
In announcing its decision to expel Coyne, the Cambridge University Conservative Association said that “we wish to totally disassociate ourselves from the individual and his behavior,” while emphasizing that cruelty to the homeless was not one of the club’s values.