Prisoner granted permission to attend funeral of brother shot dead in Doncaster pub

The brother of a Doncaster man shot dead in a pub has been granted permission to leave prison to attend his funeral.

Prisoner Charlie Bell feared he was going to miss the funeral of his 21-year-old brother, Tom, who was shot dead at the Maple Tree pub in Balby on Thursday, January 17.

Tom and Charlie Bell

Tom and Charlie Bell

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The 30-year-old, who is serving a four year sentence at HMP Whealstun, near Wetherby, applied for special permission to attend the funeral and has had his request granted.

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He was told that he must be accompanied by guards, meaning he is unable to help carry his brother’s coffin into church, but his relatives said they are just pleased that he is allowed to attend.

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The funeral is to be held at St Peter-in-Chains on Chequer Road, Doncaster town centre, on Monday, February 18.

There is to be a burial at Armthorpe afterwards, where doves will be released at the graveside.

A wake is to be held at the Earl of Doncaster Hotel in Doncaster town centre.

Two men – Joseph Bennia, 28 and Scott Geoffrey Gocoul, 29 – have been charged with Tom’s murder and are remanded in custody.

Six other arrests have been made as part of the police probe, with suspects arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

They have all been released as enquiries continue.

In a statement, the Prison Service said: “Escorted visits are subject to a strict risk assessment and decisions are made by Governors according to the details of each individual case.

“This includes close liaison with the police, consideration of victims and the safety of prison staff and the public.”

Anyone with information on the murder should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 and quote incident 796 of January 17.

Crimestoppers can also be contacted, anonymously, on 0800 555111.