Families of Nottingham attack victims 'horrified' over 'graphic and crude' police WhatsApp messages

Split image. Left image: Ian Coates. Centre image: Barnaby Webber. Right image: Grace O'Malley-Kumar.
Ian Coates, Barnaby Webber and Grace O'Malley-Kumar died last June after being stabbed to death by Valdo Calocane. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

The families of those killed in the Nottingham attacks say they're horrified after learning police officers shared 'crude and distasteful' messages with each other.

Barnaby Webber, Grace O'Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates died last June after being stabbed to death by Valdo Calocane.

It has emerged that a Nottinghamshire police officer shared "graphic details" about the killings in a WhatsApp message to another police officer.

Last month, Pc Matthew Gell, was found guilty of gross misconduct after he accessed records of Calocane despite not being involved in the investigation.

The mother of Barnaby Webber, Emma Webber, says it's "another car crash for Nottinghamshire Police".

The families of Barnaby Webber, Grace O'Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates, speaking on Nottingham Crown Court steps. Credit: PA Images

Emma Webber, the mother of Barnaby Webber, told ITV News in a statement: "How would you feel if that was your child or parent?

"Where is your respect or common decency? This was not an opportunity to share salacious news."

"These murders were brutal, terrifying for the victims and catastrophic for the families left behind.

"We were not, at any point, told about this. The very first we heard was via the media. It's another car crash for Nottinghamshire Police force isn't it."

Nottinghamshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Steve Cooper, told ITV News: "Some of the words were crude and distasteful. After a thorough review by the Professional Standards Directorate, one other officer was subject to management intervention.

"No other officers were found to have committed misconduct. All officers have been reminded of the appropriate use of WhatsApp as a result of this misconduct hearing."

Valdo Calocane was given an indefinite hospital order for the killings, on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

Calocane, 32, was given an indefinite hospital order for three counts of manslaughter and three attempted murders at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday 25 January, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

At the time of sentencing, families said they felt let down by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

They are meeting with the Attorney General on Tuesday 20 February to discuss the handling of the case by the CPS.

His Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate will be looking into all actions taken by the service relating to Calocane.

It comes after the families of the Nottingham attack victims, Grace O'Malley-Kumar, Barnaby Webber and Ian Coates, asked the Attorney General to investigate after fears the sentencing of Calocane was too lenient.

Leicestershire Police is currently under investigation by police watchdog, Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), over its investigation into alleged attacks by Valdo Calocane in May 2023 - weeks before the Nottingham attacks.

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