‘Justice has not been served’ say victims’ families as Nottingham killer detained in high security hospital

‘Justice has not been served’ say victims’ families as Nottingham killer detained in high security hospital

A MAN who stabbed three people to death in Nottingham and attempted to kill three others has been detained indefinitely in a medical facility.

It was confirmed today that Valdo Calocane will be held in a high security hospital following his sentencing hearing at Nottingham Crown Court this morning.

The 32-year-old, of no fixed abode, previously pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of students Grace O'Malley-Kumar and her friend Barnaby Webber and school worker Ian Coates on the basis of diminished responsibility.

He also pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of three pedestrians whom he intentionally hit while driving a van stolen from one of his victims.

Valdo Calocane will be held in a high security hospital following his sentencing at Nottingham Crown Court today

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) accepted his pleas after four psychiatric reports found he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and had a “serious mental health” episode at the time of the attacks.

However, they said he would have understood the nature of his conduct, namely killing his victims with a knife and running over three others in a van.

The court heard that Calocane had previously been sectioned under the Mental Health Act several times and released by mental health services before he went on to commit the unprovoked knife attacks in Nottingham in June 2023.

The court further heard that University of Nottingham students Grace and Barnaby, both 19, were fatally stabbed in Ilkeston Road on the morning of Tuesday, June 13.

They were walking home from an end-of-term party at Przym nightclub and were around 200 metres from their student accommodation when Calocane targeted them.

Just over an hour later, 65-year-old school caretaker Mr Coates was killed in a further knife attack in Magdala Road where his white van was then stolen by Calocane.

Victims Ian Coates, Barnaby Webber and Grace O'Malley-Kumar

Three people were then hit by the van and were lucky to survive the impact.

Calocane was located by police shortly after the attacks.

He was tasered by armed police officers in Bentinck Road and arrested and charged with three murders and three attempted murders.

Calocane was sentenced today where the judge ruled he is to be detained in a high-security hospital.

Judge Mr Justice Turner told him it is likely he will never be released, so that he can receive treatment for paranoid schizophrenia – a mental illness that can be “mitigated” with treatment but not cured.

He added he was satisfied Calocane would not have committed his “appalling” crimes had he not been suffering from the illness.

The families of his victims have criticised the outcome of the case.

CCTV captured Valdo Calocane walking around the city for hours before the attacks

Emma Webber, Barnaby’s mother, said: “Justice has not been served today, we, the devastated families, have been let down by multiple agency failings and ineffectiveness.”

She explained that the families had expected Calocane to be found guilty of murder.

“When we met with the Crown Prosecution Service, we were presented with a fait accompli, that the decision had been made to accept manslaughter charges.

“We were horrified, at no point during the previous five and a half months were we given any indication that this could conclude in anything other than murder.

“We trusted in our system, foolishly as it turns out.”

Mr Coates’ son James Coates said Calocane had “made a mockery of the system” before adding that he had “got away with murder".

Dr Sanjoy Kumar, the father of Grace O’Malley-Kumar, spoke on behalf of himself and his Dublin-born wife, fellow doctor Sinead O’Malley today.

“We will never come to terms with the loss of our beloved daughter Grace, and how she lost her life. She was a gift to us,” he said.

“We would like to thank our wonderful family from London and Ireland and all of our friends for their continued love and support,” he added.

Regarding the outcome of the case against Calocane, Dr Kumar said: “While we have never questioned this man’s diagnosis, the lack of toxicology, contemporaneous mental health assessment as well as missed opportunities to divert his lethal path will forever play on our minds.

“This requires further review, we will look for answers regarding missed opportunities to intervene and prevent this horrendous crime. “