Northampton

Police probe 'horrible letters' sent to Rev Richard Coles as hate crime

The Reverend Richard Coles
Image caption Richard Coles co-presents Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4 and was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017

Correspondence sent to vicar and broadcaster Rev Richard Coles saying his dead partner was in hell, are being investigated by police as a hate crime.

On Thursday, Coles, a former member of 80s group The Communards, revealed that since announcing the Rev David Coles had died he had received "horrible letters" from Christians.

He tweeted "my hateful correspondence is now evidence".

Northamptonshire Police confirmed it had visited the broadcaster.

The force said it had seen Coles on Thursday "in relation to malicious communications he had received" which were being investigated as hate crime.

"We would like to reiterate to the public that there's no place in society for prejudice or for hatred," a police spokesman said.

"We take a zero-tolerance approach towards hate crime and would encourage anyone who has been a victim of hate crime to come forward and report it to us."

The vicar has thanked the force and revealed that officers were "sympathetic and professional" when they came to see him.

Coles, 57, who is the vicar of Finedon in Northamptonshire, met his partner in 2007.

The couple, both Church of England priests, lived together with their dogs in the vicarage.

On Tuesday, he announced his civil partner Rev David Coles had died after a long illness.

He said he had received "99.99999% loveliness" since the announcement but added there had been "a small but lively correspondence" from those against the union "who wish me to know that D is in hell and I will follow".

On Twitter, he described the letters as "paper darts" which "just leave me mildly curious about the state of mind of the writer".

"The horrible letters; they don't touch me," he said.

On Wednesday, Coles posted a warning on social media that a scam fundraising page had been set up claiming to be raising money to cover his partner's funeral costs.

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