Rev Richard Coles has taken to Twitter to confirm that the police have been in touch after he received abusive online messages after announcing the death of his partner, Rev David Coles. After sharing several posts about the hate mail he had received, he followed up with a tweet which read: "Police called this evening, sympathetic and professional, and my hateful correspondence is now evidence. Thank you @NorthantsPolice."
Richard's partner David passed away in December
Northants Police also lit several candles in David's memory, and Richard shared a photo of the beautiful gesture, writing: "Also @NorthantsPolice lit a candle in memory of @RevDavidColes at their carol service tonight. There appears to be evidence of something in my eye." Richard announced that David had passed away after a long illness on Tuesday. He was 42.
The police paid tribute to David
Previously posting about the abusive messages, Richard wrote: "99.99999% loveliness from people and then a small but lively correspondence from Christians who wish me to know that D is in hell and I will follow. It’s like the Khmer Rouge suddenly popping up in a stream of condolence. A letter, courageously unsigned, begins: 'Dear Mr Coles, I can't begin to tell you how happy I am to hear of the death of your partner.'"
Richard has said the police are involved
Fans, friends and colleagues of Richard replied with an outpouring of love and support, with one writing: "Making a police report can’t have been easy on top of everything else you’re going through. All credit to you for finding the emotional strength to do it," while another added: "I'm so sorry for the loss of your partner Richard and I’m profoundly sorry for the appalling abuse you have endured. It shows the measure of the man that you are that you are dealing with it with integrity and decency. I'm not sure they deserve it."
Social media is a brilliant way to connect people and create communities, but it also has a dark side. Join HELLO!'s #HelloToKindness campaign to promote positivity on social media. A kind ethos underpins everything we do at HELLO! and we urge our community to think twice before you post. Find out more about the #HelloToKindness campaign.