A Cambridge student who tried to burn a £20 note in front of homeless man has written a profuse apology on his return to college

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Clare Bridge over the River Cam in Cambridge, UK.
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Shutterstock/ChrisDorney

A University of Cambridge student, who attempted to burn a £20 ($26) note in front of a homeless man earlier this year, has apologised profusely upon his return to college.

In February, Ronald Coyne – then a first-year law student at Pembroke College – was caught on video trying to light the note while dressed for a white tie event in the British city.

The footage was recorded on Snapchat, which was sent to student website The Tab:

We can exclusively reveal the footage of the student burningmoney in front of a homeless person Copyright: Tab Media ltd

Posted by The TabCambridge on Friday, February 10, 2017

We can exclusively reveal the footage of the student burningmoney in front of a homeless person Copyright: Tab Media ltd

The TabCambridge

Cambridge university’s Conservative Association revoked his membership after it found out about the incident. Over 23,000 people also signed a petition to remove Coyne from the university after the event.

But the student asked for a second chance on his return to studies, in a profuse apology letter he asked Pembroke College to circulate to students. The Tab secured a copy of the note and published it in full. Here is an excerpt:

“My actions were wrong and without thought or consideration. I abused my privilege as a student at such a great university, and behaved in a way which is totally contrary to the values of the university and of its students. I acknowledge that my behaviour put the entire university in a negative light, and for that I am sorry. For the effect that my behaviour had on you as a community, I am also sorry.

“I am extremely fortunate to have a place at Cambridge. My experience of Cambridge was of a place which is positive, accepting, and friendly. Yet on that evening, I forgot what it really meant to study at Cambridge. I misrepresented what it meant to be a student here. The gift of a great education should be a tool to enrich society, not an excuse to debase it. I made a terrible mistake, and I quite rightly faced disciplinary action for it.

“I have addressed the root causes of my behaviour by attending awareness classes, relating to both alcohol and social inclusion.”

He also revealed that his family received mail threatening violence and chemical attacks as news of the video emerged. Pembroke College circulated the letter among its students in a bid to “generate support for Ronald as he prepares to return to College.”