Nottingham victims’ families say killer ‘deserves to be punished’ as sentence review ordered

  • James and Lee Coates spoke to ITV News about their hope that their father's killer will be jailed

The sons of one of the three victims of the Nottingham attacks said their father’s killer "deserves to be punished" as they welcomed the decision to have his sentence reviewed.

Valdo Calocane, 32, was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order last month for killing school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, and university students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, in a spate of stabbings in Nottingham last June.

The Attorney General Victoria Prentis announced on Tuesday that Calocane’s sentence will be referred to the Court of Appeal for being "unduly lenient".

Speaking to ITV News, James and Lee Coates, Mr Coates’ sons, described the news as "actual justice".

They said news of the review "shows that there is some good happening”, adding that "it's the first positive news we've got out of this whole debacle."

James said: "[The review is] just something to look forward to, something that's showing us there's a little bit of hope that some sort of justice is going to be done.

"And the failures from these different agencies, we're starting to feel like there is some accountability."

His brother Lee added: "We feel like our voices are being heard a little bit more, now. For months we were just, sort of batted away, either from the police or from the powers [that] be. So yeah, it's good that, like James said, finally, hopefully, there will be some actual justice."

Barnaby Webber, Grace O'Malley-Kumar, both aged 19, and Ian Coates, aged 65, were killed by Valdo Calocane.

When asked about their concerns regarding Calocane's original sentence of an indefinite hospital order, James said: "I felt that [Calocane] became the victim, it was more revolved around 'what can we do to help him, what can we do to help with his treatment to make sure he's kept away from a prison for his own safety.'"

He added: "At the end of the day, he's a killer - manslaughter is not a word I use in my vocabulary when I talk about this. He's a killer and he should have punishment for what he's done - there has to be some sort of prison element to this.

"He has to be punished for what he's done. He's gotten away with three murders and three attempted murders."

Barnaby's mother Emma Webber says they "weren't particularly optimistic"

Emma Webber, the mother of 19-year-old victim Barnaby, told ITV News the families feel "listened to" and "heard".

She said: "We weren't particularly optimistic, and obviously we have heard that the Attorney General and the Solicitor General both feel that it does warrant going to the Courts of Appeal for the sentencing to be reviewed.

"So, it's hard to say we're pleased, in these circumstances, but we're glad that we've been listened to and heard, and so far, they seem to agree with us."

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