Triple murder suspect remanded in custody following deadly Nottingham attack

Valdo Calocane appeared at Nottingham Magistrates' Court this morning, as Callum Watkinson reports

A triple murder suspect has been remanded in custody by magistrates after two students and a school caretaker were killed in knife and van attacks in Nottingham.

Former University of Nottingham student Valdo Calocane, who gave his name as Adam Mendes, appeared in the dock at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Saturday wearing a grey T-shirt and grey jogging bottoms, and flanked by three security officers.

The 31-year-old is accused of murdering first-year students Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber and school caretaker Ian Coates in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Calocane is also alleged to have attempted to murder three pedestrians, Wayne Birkett, Marcin Gawronski and Sharon Miller, after Mr Coates’ van was used to drive at people in Milton Street and Upper Parliament Street.

The defendant spoke only to confirm his name as “Adam Mendes”, his date of birth and that he was of no fixed abode, and was not required to enter any pleas to the charges.

Medical student Ms O’Malley-Kumar, from Woodford in London, and history student Mr Webber, from Taunton in Somerset, who were both 19, were found fatally knifed on Ilkeston Road at around 4am.

Mr Coates, 65, was then found stabbed to death in Magdala Road after his van was allegedly stolen.

Calocane is alleged to have used the van to drive at a pedestrian in Milton Street and a further two people in South Sherwood Street.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust said two patients are stable and one has been discharged following the van incidents.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the driver of a marked police car had sight of the vehicle for “less than a minute” before it collided with the pedestrians in South Sherwood Street.

Emma Webber, the mother of Barnaby Webber, speaks during a vigil in Nottingham city centre on Thursday Credit: Tim Goode/PA

The family of Mr Webber described their “complete devastation” at the “senseless murder of our son”, saying he was a “beautiful, brilliant, bright young man, with everything in life to look forward to”.

Ms O’Malley-Kumar’s family described her as a “truly wonderful and beautiful young lady” and that she would be “so dearly missed”.

Two of Mr Coates’ sons said his death had “rocked everyone’s world”, adding: “Nobody deserves this but he definitely didn’t.”

Police revealed the suspect is a former University of Nottingham student, but said “this is not believed to be connected with the attack”.

Chairwoman of the bench of magistrates, Allison Folkett, remanded Calocane into custody to appear at Nottingham Crown Court on Monday.

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