Nottingham attacks: Families of victims say 'justice has not been done' on day killer is sentenced

  • Watch statements made by Barnaby Webber's mother Emma Webber, Ian Coates' son James Coates and Grace O'Malley Kumar's father Dr Sanjoy Kumar

The mother of Nottingham stabbings victim Barnaby Webber has said to police and the Crown Prosecution Service "you have blood on your hands".

Emma Webber said outside court that "true justice has not been served today," adding the families of Valdo Calocane’s victims had been "let down" by the CPS and police after the triple killer was handed an indefinite hospital order.

She said they were "horrified" by the decision to accept manslaughter charges, and said that "at no point" had the family been given any notion "that this could conclude with anything other than murder."

In a statement read on the court steps after sentencing, his mother Emma Webber said: "We as a devastated family have been let down by multiple agency failings and ineffectiveness.

"The CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) did not consult us as has been reported – instead we have been rushed, hastened and railroaded."

She said the first meeting with them was on November 24.

She said: "We were presented with a fait accompli that the decision had been made to accept manslaughter charges.

"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.

"We do not dispute that the murderer is mentally unwell and has been for a number of years.

"However the pre-mediated planning, the collection of lethal weapons, hiding in the shadows and brutality of the attacks are that of an individual who knew exactly what he was doing. He knew entirely that it was wrong but he did it anyway."

Speaking to Nottinghamshire Police's Assistant Chief Constable Rob Griffin, she said: "You have blood on your hands. If you had just done your jobs properly there’s a very good chance my beautiful boy would be alive today.

She added: "Our darling son, his dear friend Grace, and a wonderfully kind grandfather Ian, have been stolen from us forever, and have been let down by the very system that should have been protecting them."

  • CCTV of Calocane being Tasered and arrested by Nottinghamshire Police

Ian Coates' son, James, said: "My family has suffered a great loss, the children who my father had a positive impression on have suffered a great loss, the city of Nottingham has suffered a great loss.

"The failures from the police, the CPS, the health service, have resulted in the murder of my father and these two innocent students."

Of Calocane, he said: "All we can hope is that in due course, some sort of justice will be served. This man has made a mockery of the system, and he has got away with murder."

Dr Sanjoy Kumar, father of Grace O'Malley-Kumar, said the family will "never come to terms with the loss of our beloved daughter Grace and how she lost her life.

"Her heroic actions - she was a gift to us, and she was a gift to the country."

He added: "Whilst 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. And this requires further review.

"We will look for answers regarding missed opportunities to intervene and prevent this horrendous crime."

Valdo Calocane, 32, fatally stabbed 65-year-old Ian Coates and students Grace O'Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber, both aged 19, in the early hours of 13 June 2023 in Nottingham.

Prosecutors accepted his pleas of not guilty to murder and guilty to manslaughter at a hearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday, on the grounds of diminished responsibility due to "serious" mental illness.

University of Nottingham students Grace and Barnaby suffered fatal knife wounds to the chest and abdomen, while school caretaker Mr Coates was stabbed in the chest.

Sentencing Calocane on Thursday, judge Mr Justice Turner said the killer would be detained in a high-security hospital "very probably for the rest of your life."

He said: "You committed a series of atrocities in this city which ended the lives of three people.

"Your sickening crimes both shocked the nation and wrecked the lives of your surviving victims and the families of them all."

Nottinghamshire Healthcare Chief Executive, Ifti Majid, said: "Our thoughts are with the families and friends of Barnaby Webber, Grace O'Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates, and everyone affected by the tragic events in Nottingham in June 2023."

He stated that Calocane was "under our care between May 2020 and September 2022 with episodes of care both as an inpatient and in the community as an outpatient."

Mr Majid added: "It is important to remember that this person has been convicted of a crime of the most serious kind and there are many people who live with severe mental health issues who do not offend and are supported to live well in their community. 

"If a patient no longer engages with our services and support and they do not meet criteria to be detained under the Mental Health Act, they are discharged back to the care of their GP and can be referred back into our services at any time."

He continued: "Once again, I wish to send my condolences and thoughts to everyone affected by this case. We will continue to work with our partners in the Police and health services to continue to learn."

A spokesperson from NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire clarified that when Calocane was discharged back to his GP, "several attempts" were made to contact him, but "no response was received."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...