Man denies murder but pleads guilty to manslaughter of three people in Nottingham attacks

  • Ben Chapman reports from Nottingham Crown Court

A man has denied murder but has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of three people in the Nottingham attacks.

Valdo Calocane admitted to three counts of manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility.

Students Barnaby Webber and Grace O'Malley-Kumar, both aged 19 and school caretaker Ian Coates, aged 65, died on 13 June after being stabbed.

The family of Mr Webber, a history student from Taunton in Somerset, have previously described their "complete devastation," 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." The medical student had represented Essex in cricket as a teenager and had also played for England Hockey.

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

Following the killings, thousands attended vigils at the University of Nottingham and in Old Market Square to remember the victims.

Mr Webber and Miss O’Malley-Kumar were fatally stabbed in Ilkeston Road, Radford, at around 4:00am.

At around 5.30am police were called to an incident in which a van had allegedly been driven into people waiting at a bus stop close to the Theatre Royal.

Mr Coates was found stabbed to death in Magdala Road, Mapperley.

The defendant, of no fixed address, was then arrested on suspicion of murder outside a convenience store in Bentinck Road, Forest Fields.

Valdo Calocane was charged with murder for the three knife attacks in Nottingham on 13 June.

The 31-year-old was also charged with attempting to murder three pedestrians; Wayne Birkett, Marcin Gawronski and Sharon Miller, by driving Mr Coates’ van at them in Milton Street and Upper Parliament Street.

Calocane plead guilty to attempted murder for this attack.

Court artist's impression of Calocane at the hearing in June.

Prosecutor Karim Khalil KC has told the hearing the crown will need time to consider whether or not the pleas are acceptable or not.

Peter Joyce KC, defending, said to the judge: "You know what the issues are and the world should know this: The defendant does not dispute the physical acts of any of the prosecution's case.

"Though he committed these dreadful acts, he did this while he was suffering from extreme mental illness."

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is also investigating Nottinghamshire Police’s involvement in the incident, after the force referred itself to the watchdog the day after the attacks.

The IOPC previously said that an officer driving a single-crewed vehicle was responding to a related call when it came across the van allegedly being driven by Calocane.

Dashcam footage suggests the officer had sight of the van for less than a minute before it hit pedestrians.

The officer immediately stopped to give first aid to those who had been hit, with the investigation considering whether the actions of the van driver were influenced by the presence of the police car.

The case has been adjourned to January 16 2024.

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