Vicious mob fight with machetes and axes after high-speed van chase in shocking funeral brawl

13 March 2023, 09:28

Feuding families were filmed clashing violently at a funeral in Swansea, Wales
Feuding families were filmed clashing violently at a funeral in Swansea, Wales. Picture: South Wales Police

By Asher McShane

Shocking footage has captured the moment mayhem descended on a Welsh cemetery with men armed with axes, hammers and knives fighting running battles between the headstones.

In the brawl on August 5 last year, graves were damaged, several people were seriously injured, and funerals were interrupted.

Armed police and the police helicopter were deployed to the scene, which was sparked when a number of warring extended families chose a graveside blessing as the scene for the violent clash.

Seven people were jailed when two families clashed at Morriston Crematorium in Swansea. In shocking scenes axe-wielding thugs smashed headstones and damaged plots as they set upon each other.

In the violent brawl, thugs battered each other and drove cars and vans at speed, at one point narrowly missing a wheelchair and a carer.

Read more: Gary Lineker 'back on Match of the Day within days' after agreeing deal with TV bosses

Read more: Budget chains B&M, Iceland and Wilko closing dozens of high street stores as 'culture of bargain-hunting is over'

James Coffey from Cardiff was jailed
James Coffey from Cardiff was jailed. Picture: South Wales Police

James Coffey, 45, was jailed for two years and three months for his part in the brawl.

In one scene captured on camera, Coffey is seen wiping away blood from above his ear after being slashed in the head.

Thugs also swilled water from a vase in a remembrance room and spat it on the floor.

The fight was the result of an ongoing feud between family factions the O’Brian and Coffeys, and the Murphy and Thomas faction.

Gravestones and plots were damaged as the groups attacked each other
Gravestones and plots were damaged as the groups attacked each other. Picture: South Wales Police

Seven men were jailed after admitted violent disorder.

They were Patrick Murphy, 40, Andrew Thomas, 40, Martin O’Brian, 58, and John O’Brian, 53, all of Llanelli, and Jeffrey Tawse, 23, John Coffey Jr, 24, and James Coffey, 45, all from Cardiff.

Murphy’s sons Paddy, 19, and John, 18, of Llanelli, got suspended jail terms.

The group fought with hammers, axes and machetes
The group fought with hammers, axes and machetes. Picture: South Wales Police

Judge Paul Thomas KC said: "It was beyond the realms of coincidence that between the two sides of the conflict at least one machete, lump hammer, baseball bat, pickaxe handle, shovel, and probably golf clubs were available for use.

"From the available footage some of those present for the blessing were dressed as one would expect for a solemn occasion.

"Many others were in vests with weaponry readily to hand in their vehicles or on their person."

James Coffey (main image), Jeffrey Tawse (top right) and Patrick Joseph Murphy were all sentenced for their roles in the disorder
James Coffey (main image), Jeffrey Tawse (top right) and Patrick Joseph Murphy were all sentenced for their roles in the disorder. Picture: South Wales Police

Detective inspector Carl Price, who was in charge of the investigation, told Wales Online: "With the kinds of weapons that were used and way vehicles were driven around the cemetery it is lucky nobody was killed."

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Owens added: "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."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Liz Truss has reacted to her party's terrible election results

Liz Truss blames Tory election drubbing on Rishi Sunak ‘trashing her record’ before pointing finger at Tony Blair

Joe Biden reacts to the assassination attempt of Donald Trump

‘Everyone must condemn it’: Joe Biden labels Donald Trump assassination attempt ‘sick’ as world leaders react

Donald Trump was shot at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania yesterday

Bloodied Donald Trump rushed off stage after shooting as FBI names dead gunman behind assassination attempt

Donald Trump's ear was grazed in a shooting at a campaign rally yesterday

‘Much bleeding took place’: Donald Trump releases new statement after being shot at campaign rally

President Trump was shot at a rally in Pennsylvania

Donald Trump carried off stage by Secret Service after shooting at campaign rally

American XL bully

Police raid suspected XL Bully farm and arrest man as 13 dogs seized inside house with children

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer has told the England team that they have "made the country proud" before their crunch Euros final against Spain on Sunday.

'Bring it home': Keir Starmer sends message to England team ahead of showpiece Euros final against Spain

spanhoe airfield near corby main runway

Pilot killed in plane crash at former RAF airfield near Corby as police urge witnesses to come forward

A child is dead and five people have been injured after a house fire in East Ham, London.

Child dead after deadly blaze that injured five which gutted east London home and needed 40 firefighters to tackle

Daniel Halliday went missing while playing in the water with his brother on June 30.

Body found in the sea confirmed to be 14-year-old Daniel Halliday who was swept away in River Mersey on June 30

A Scottish council has come under fire for handing almost 2,000 penalties in the first 11 days of its low emission zone

Scottish council under fire after handing out 2,000 fines in first 11 days of new low emission zone

Graziano Di Prima has broken his silence

Strictly Come Dancing pro Graziano Di Prima breaks silence after being 'sacked' following misconduct claims

Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Graziano Di Prima has been sacked by the BBC

Strictly Come Dancing pro 'sacked' after claims of gross misconduct towards former partner Zara McDermott

Prince William will be at the game on Sunday

‘Just one last push’: Prince William’s message to the England team ahead of Euro 2024 final against Spain

The family of the three women who were killed in a crossbow attack have said they are "devastated"

‘We are devastated’, John Hunt and surviving daughter say, after his wife and two daughters killed in crossbow attack

At least 71 Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli air strike

‘Dozens killed in air strike on Gaza humanitarian zone’ as Israel says it was targeting Hamas leaders