Video shows men armed with machetes and shovels fighting in cemetery at funeral
Astonishing new dashcam footage has emerged of an enormous fight involving machetes, axes and hammers that interrupted mourners at a Welsh cemetery.
Nine funeral-goers were jailed last month, six months after a feud between two family factions boiled over into extreme violence at the Morriston Crematorium in Swansea.
Previous clips of the incident have shown large vans and white cars being driven over the grass at the graveyard.
But the new video, released by South Wales Police, goes inside the vehicles to show the participants in the fight wielding weapons like baseball bats and bricks.
In one section, James Coffey – who was jailed for two years and three months over the brawl – wipes his head to check for a wound as blood pours down his neck.
In another, a vehicle travelling at close to 20mph narrowly missing someone in a wheelchair and the person pushing them as they walk along the rows of graves.
Detective inspector Carl Price, who was in charge of the investigation, told Wales Online: ‘I think people were shocked by this incident – by the scale of it, the level of violence, the location, and the disrespect it showed to others.
‘With the kinds of weapons that were used and way vehicles were driven around the cemetery it is lucky nobody was killed.’
Police checked hospitals around the south-west of Wales in the aftermath of the clash, as they knew people taking part had been seriously injured.
During their investigation, they also caught several suspects on camera trying to dispose of weapons by throwing them into a stream near a farm.
Swansea Crown Court later heard the fight was sparked by an on-going feud between two sides of the family factions – called the O’Brian and Coffey faction, and the Murphy and Thomas faction.
Two other funerals were going on at the time – and grieving families were caught up in the violence.
Men armed with baseball bats spat on the floor of the crem’s remembrance room, with some drinking water from flower vases.
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.’
He added: ‘The death of a family member is one of the most traumatic events in anyone’s life. And the funeral of such a loved one is a sacred time – one of great solemnity, dignity and huge sorrow.’
‘This tragic family occasion was desecrated by your two warring factions.’
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