Anger over ‘bullet proof vest’ TripAdvisor review of Doncaster pub where boxer Tom Bell was killed in shooting

A TripAdvisor reviewer who advised visitors to a Doncaster pub where boxer Tom Bell was shot dead to wear a ‘bullet proof vest’ has come under fire for the controversial post.

By Darren Burke
Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 2:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 2:07 pm
Floral tributes outside the Maple Tree, Balby where Tom Bell died on January 17.
Floral tributes outside the Maple Tree, Balby where Tom Bell died on January 17.

A post entitled ‘bullet proof vest?’ was posted on the travel reviews website just hours after Mr Bell, 21, died after being shot at the Maple Tree pub in Woodfield Plantation, Balby on January 17.

Under the heading, “Bullet proof vest?,” Leeds-based reviewer ‘bluethedog’ wrote: “What have they let this establishment turn into ,the management are fully aware of the type of trade that is going on inside the pub but turn a blind eye, the same blind eye that lets customers sit in oily greasy yellow high vis work-ware in the best seats.

Floral tributes outside the Maple Tree, Balby where Tom Bell died on January 17.

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Ninth arrest made in Tom Bell murder probe in Doncaster

“No respect for honest law abiding citizens.”

The reviewer gave the pub one star – which translates as ‘terrible’ on the website and is still listed among 147 reviews of the Maple Tree on Trip Advisor.

But the review has come in for criticism with a fellow reviewer and customer jumping to the defence of the pub which was closed for several days after the incident and which has become a shrine to the young boxer with dozens of bunches of flowers and balloons being left as tributes outside.

The funeral of Tom Bell took place yesterday.

In response, reviewer ‘James B’ posted: “My wife and I have been customers at the Maple Tree for a number of years and feel that it sad that because of one serious incident someone could make a suggestion re ‘Bullet Proof Vests’.

“All are entitled to their opinion, but Trip Advisor is well used by people thinking of visiting locations. The previous review does not accurately reflect the premises in question.

“Workmen do use the premises but should they be discriminated by the fact that they do not wear a suit and work in an office and would be interested to see any evidence of  seats being marked by anyone wearing oily greasy jackets.

“Let’s all strive to be honest law abiding citizens and writing honest factual reviews for the benefit of others who read these pages.”

More than 500 mourners attended the funeral of Mr Bell in Doncaster yesterday.

Two men – Joseph Bennia, 28 and Scott Geoffrey Gocoul, 29, both of no fixed abode – have been charged with Tom’s murder and remanded in custody with a trial date set for Wednesday, May 1.

Seven others have been arrested in connection with the death, with the latest suspect – a 33-year-old man – arrested on suspicion of supplying a firearm.

The other six suspects were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and were later released as enquiries continue. Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 796 of January 17 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.