Barnaby Webber: 'He was just family' - Friends of Taunton teenager friends talk about his loss

Friends of a Taunton teenager who was one of three people killed in knife attacks in Nottingham earlier this year have told ITV News his death has left a hole in their lives.

19-year-old Barnaby Webber was at university in the city. 32-year-old Valdo Calocane has been charged with his murder, alongside those of Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates and he is due for his next appearance in court at the end of November.

For Emily and Tom Yap, Barnaby Webber was front and centre for most of their lives.

Barney and Tom were together from nursery to sixth form at Taunton School. They see him as a brother and say his death in the attacks of 13 June 2023 has left a void.

Emily said: "He was just family. All of my memories of him are school, playground, but then family holidays, family events. If it was your (Tom's) and Barney’s birthday you shared parties from cinema parties all the way up to 18th bashes in the pub."

Tom said he would describe Barney as his ‘brother’: "He didn’t really care what other people thought. He was always one of the more popular kids at school but if he liked that person he’d go out of his way to make sure that every now and then he spent time with them.

"That’s part of what made him so special - he just cared about everybody he cared about, which was most people, so dearly and it was clear that he thought about them a lot."

Barnaby, Tom and Emily regularly went on holiday together with their families

Barnaby Webber was one of three people stabbed to death before the attacker "stole a victim’s van" to drive at others, police said.

Tom said he finds that what happened regularly hits him unexpectedly, saying: "There are most days it just sort of feels normal. You don’t really register that he’s gone because you’re used to not talking every day so it’s more when, say I was going through Instagram or Tik Tok and I come across a video or a post that I would normally send to him and we’d get a few laughs out of, it’s the moments like those that hit you where you realise that person’s gone and you can’t get in contact with them again."

Following Barnaby's death, his family launched the Barnaby Webber Foundation, which it's hoped will support young people with a focus on sport. Emily has decided to take on the 100km ultramarathon 'Race to the Stones' in 2024 to raise money for the Foundation.

She said: "I really don’t understand why it was him, why it was Grace, why it was any of the others and by doing this it’s something that I never imagined I would do so it feels like I’m putting a little bit of purpose there.

"I’m doing this, I wouldn’t have done it before, this has made me do something, something’s come out of it but also it’s for the Foundation and it’s for him and I can remember him and I can respect him through that."