Watchdog to investigate Nottinghamshire Police contact with triple killer

Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has started an investigation into complaints about Nottinghamshire Police’s previous contact with Valdo Calocane and their handling of the murder investigation following the deaths of three people in Nottingham in June last year.

Grace O'Malley-Kumar was stabbed alongside fellow University of Nottingham student, Barnaby Webber, and school caretaker, Ian Coates by Valdo Calocane. Three more people were injured in the attack.

The IOPC’s investigation follows a voluntary referral by the force of complaints they have received from the victims’ families.

The complaints allege there were flaws in the handling of the murder investigation and missed opportunities by police to prevent the deaths.

Allegations have also been made in respect of the non-execution of an outstanding warrant for Calocane’s arrest prior to the killings, and concerns raised about Nottinghamshire Police’s communication with the families.

IOPC Director of Operations, Steve Noonan, said: “Our sympathies are with the families of Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar, and Ian Coates, and everyone else affected by the tragic events which took place on June 13 last year.

"We have now decided to investigate complaints made about Nottinghamshire Police’s involvement with Valdo Calocane. Along with this we are investigating the actions and decisions of Leicestershire Police, which we announced last week.”

On Tuesday 23 January, prosecutors accepted his pleas of not guilty to murder and guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility due to "serious" mental illness.

Left image: Ian Coates. Centre image: Barnaby Webber. Right image: Grace O'Malley-Kumar.

Calocane was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 2019. He'd been sectioned four times and was known to refuse medication, something the prosecution argued led to a further decline in his mental health.

The health secretary has now ordered a review into the mental health services at the NHS trust where he was treated.

As well as being known to mental health services, there was an outstanding warrant for Calocane's arrest after he assaulted a police officer in 2021.

The victims' families continue to call for a public inquiry to address the handling of the case.