South West Wales

Trampled Swansea City fan Terry Coles plea 'considered'

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

A request to release details of an investigation into the death of a Swansea City football fan is being "carefully considered", South Yorkshire Police has said.

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

His family want evidence disclosed and "fresh eyes" to look at the case.

Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris has also asked for a meeting with the Home Secretary to discuss it.

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.

Ms Harris said: "Somebody has to take responsibility for what happened that day.

"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, the consequence of that was Terry Coles lost his life.

"We need to find out what went wrong."

She said an inquest finding 96 Liverpool fans were "unlawfully killed" at Hillsborough in 1996, "has opened the door to other people" and the case must be looked at again.


A review by the Independent Police Complaints Commission found the actions of three officers; Supt Dave Turner, Chf 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.

Mr Coles' wife Christine took civil action against South Yorkshire Police but lost the High Court claim for compensation in 2005.

The IPCC said it has considered whether it should review previous findings but "does not intend to".

Mr Coles' family have said they are "disappointed" and are now waiting to hear more from South Yorkshire Police, who said they are considering whether to disclose all evidence.

Their solicitor Andrew Sivertsen said: "I would like the police to look at this case with fresh eyes and from an objective point of view in light of the criticism that's been levelled at certain police officers in South Yorkshire Police.

"In particular the officers that were involved in both Hillsborough and at the Rotherham football match where Terry Coles died. "

He said this was "sufficient reason for there to be a whole-hearted review".

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