Moment mourners brawl with machetes and axes in cemetery fight
Shocking moment mourners brawl with machetes and axes in cemetery fight between two family factions after high-speed van chase
- Seven men have been jailed for the violence in Morriston Cemetery, Swansea
- Clashes broke out at a blessing after a high-speed van chase on August 5, 2022
This is the shocking moment two family factions brawled in a cemetery with machetes and axes in front of terrified mourners.
There were running clashes through a graveyard after a high-speed chase culminated in chaos at Morriston Cemetery, Swansea, on August 5 last year.
Footage shows one of the men involved chasing someone in his van through rows of gravestones before jumping out and running after him armed with a pickaxe handle.
He was joined by two other men who leaped out of the van wielding a hammer and a brick, while in the background others can be seen holding machetes and planks of wood.
Footage caught on the dashcam of one of the vans involved shows it being driven at speed past horrified members of the public, narrowly missing someone who was being pushed in a wheelchair.
The thugs were caught on dashcam attacking each other with weapons including machetes and hammers
James Coffey, 45, has been jailed for two years and three months for his role in the violence
Now seven of the thugs involved in the violence have been jailed, with South Wales Police branding it an ‘appalling incident’.
READ MORE HERE: Graveyard is ‘smashed to pieces’ as cars and vans crash into other in terrifying confrontation that leaves two people with serious injuries
Video for the violent scenes on August 5 last year was caught on the dashcam of James Coffey, 45, who has since been jailed for more than two years for his role.
It starts by showing him running to the driver’s side door of a van, as a black Volkswagen Golf skids and collides with another vehicle in the background.
Another camera in the van shows two other people get in, as Coffey drives it at speed down the path in the cemetery in pursuit of another.
After getting out of the van the two groups can be seen clashing, before Coffey returns to the vehicle with blood pouring from his head.
Two people were seriously injured following the incident, including one teenager who was taken to hospital after being stabbed.
Armed police were called to the scene by shocked members of the public, while video caught by onlookers showed the chaos unfolding within the cemetery.
The incident took place at a graveside blessing that was being attended by both sides of the family, with the violence breaking out after a group of armed men arrived at service, WalesOnline reports.
Swansea Crown Court heard it was the latest in a long-running feud between various members of the extended family, with judge Paul Thomas KC saying many of those involved had been on ‘high alert’ for violence at the funeral.
John Coffey (left) and Andrew John Thomas (right) were also jailed for the part they played in the running clashes
Jeffrey Tawse (left) and Patrick Joseph Murphy (right) were involved in the brawl at the cemetery
James Coffey was seen on the footage driving at speed through Morriston Cemetery in Swansea in his van
At one point Coffey was seen driving his van at high speed near someone in a wheelchair
He added it was ‘beyond the realms of coincidence’ that those attending the service all had weapons including machetes, hammers, shovels and other implements ‘available for use’ straight away when things turned violent.
James Coffey, 45, from Rumney, was jailed for two years and three months for violent disorder, possession of offensive weapon and dangerous driving.
Jeffrey Tawse, 24, from Rumney, was jailed for 18 months for violent disorder and possession of offensive weapon.
John Coffey, 24, from Rumney, was jailed for 18 months for violent disorder and possession of offensive weapon.
Patrick Joseph Murphy, 40, from Llanelli, was jailed for two years and eight months for violent disorder and possession of offensive weapon.
Andrew John Thomas, 40, from Llanelli, was jailed for three years for violent disorder and dangerous driving.
John Joe O’Brien, 53, from Llanelli, was jailed for 16 months for violent disorder and possession of offensive weapon.
Martin John O’Brien, 58, from Llanelli, was jailed for 16 months for violent disorder and possession of offensive weapon.
Paddy Murphy, 19, and John Murphy, 18, the teenage sons of Patrick Murphy, were given suspended jail sentences and ordered to undertake unpaid work.
Detective Chief Inspector Mike Owens said ‘This was an absolutely appalling incident that would have terrified those peacefully attending the cemetery in the middle of the day.
‘The group, who are all known to each other, committed violent offences and were seen using weapons against each other.
‘I hope the sentences today provide reassurance to the community that this kind of criminal behaviour won’t be tolerated and anybody committing these acts will face the consequence of their actions.
‘The investigation team were resolute in their commitment to fully investigate the disorder in the cemetery, working with other police forces to detain and investigate the individuals involved.’
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