Scammers set up GoFundMe page to exploit death of Reverend Richard Coles's partner

18 December 2019, 15:56

A scam GoFundMe page was set up in Rev David Coles' mother's name
A scam GoFundMe page was set up in Rev David Coles' mother's name. Picture: Twitter
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Scammers created a GoFundMe page trying to raise money off the back of the death of the partner of Reverend Richard Coles.

Richard's partner Rev David Coles passed away this week after battling a long illness. The reverend took to Twitter today to warn people about the fraudulent page on Wednesday morning.

The former Strictly Come Dancing contestant told his 212,000 followers to ignore the funding page titled "David Coles Funeral Fund."

He said: "SCAM ALERT someone has set up a gofund page for @RevDavidColes' funeral in his mother’s name. It is a scam, please ignore."

The page was later taken down.

Rev Richard Coles announced the death of his civil partner on Tuesday, saying David had been "ill for a while."

The 57-year-old Church of England priest wrote on social media: "I'm very sorry to say that Rev David Coles has died.

"He had been ill for a while. Thanks to the brilliant teams who looked after him at Kettering General.

"'The Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended'."

Dianne Buswell, Richard's former Strictly partner, gave her "thoughts and prayers" to the Reverend, whilst author Philip Pullman wrote: "Richard, I'm so sorry to hear that. You have all my sympathy."

According to Rev Coles' official website, the couple lived together in their vicarage, "which is gradually being destroyed by ... dachshunds Daisy, Pongo, Audrey and Horatio."

They met in 2007 after a sermon and the ex-Communards star has spoken openly about their celibacy.

He previously told Christian Today. "Of course it has its challenges and sacrifices ... We live in good standing with the teaching of the Church, but I wouldn't wish that to imply that I saw that as a good and noble thing, because I don't, but it is currently where we are."

Twitter users responded to the "revolting" news of the scam GoFundMe page by replying to Rev Coles.

One wrote: "Some people really have no shame. Sorry that your loss is being exploited in such a manner."

Another said it was an "absolutely horrid thing to do" and suggested the priest report the page to the fundraising company.