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Cambridge student 'taunted homeless man with £20 note before setting it on fire'

The student allegedly set fire to the money in front of the homeless man Credit: The Tab/SWNS

A Cambridge University student has been kicked out of the student Conservative Association after being filmed setting fire to a £20 in front of a homeless man.

Ronald Coyne, who claims to be related of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, was booted from his former society when the video became public.

The homeless man, Ryan Davies - an unemployed crane operator - told the Cambridge News he had been "disgusted" by what happened.

He revealed the Pembroke College student had taunted him with the money first.

"I was polite about it, always am - I said: 'Please possibly could you spare me any change please," he said.

"The man stopped... I said: 'Can you spare any change please, sir?' and he said: 'Let me see what I've got.'

Ryan Davies said he was 'disgusted' by what had happened Credit: Cambridge News/SWNS

"He pulled out a £20 note, passed it - I couldn't believe my luck. Then he pulled it back, lit it, burned it, and said: 'How's that for change? I changed it into flames.'

"I was absolutely disgusted."

The video showing the alleged note-burning was shared on Snapchat last week.

George Clarke, founder of Embrace Cambridge, a charity that works with the homeless in Cambridge, said it was not the first time a drunk student had targeted a homeless person.

"There is a disturbing precedent for intoxicated Cambridge students abusing rough sleepers in the city, but as well as calling out this disgraceful behaviour wherever we find it we can and should remember that there is a real heart for charity at this university too," he added.

Ronald Coyne has been kicked out of the Cambridge University Conservative Association Credit: The Tab/SWNS

A Cambridge University Conservative Association spokesman said the behaviour was "abhorrent and repugnant".

There is no room for people who behave like that in our Association, any other University Association, or frankly our University.

This disgusting and abhorrent behaviour occurred completely independently of CUCA, and did not take place before or after any CUCA event.

His resignation was immediately demanded and we determined the appropriate response to be to permanently revoke his membership and bar him from all future events, which we did on Saturday.

We wish to totally disassociate ourselves from the individual and his behaviour.

– CUCA spokesman

The Scottish government has denied that Coyne is a "direct" relative of Ms Sturgeon or her husband.