Family and friends of killed Barnaby Webber meet at 'Barney's Bar' to celebrate his 20th birthday

The father of Taunton teenager Barnaby Webber, who was killed in a knife attack last year, says he doesn’t know what his "new normal" will be until justice is served.

Dave Webber has spoken to ITV News a week before the case of his son’s killing, alongside two others' in Nottingham in June, is heard in court.

Valdo Calocane, 32, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility. On Saturday 13 January a celebration of Barney's life was held in the village of Bishops Hull.

It was, in effect, a birthday party and was held at his old cricket club. Those who attended shared memories of Barnaby and bought drinks from 'Barney's Bar'. However, the night was clearly bittersweet, with Barney's absence hugely felt among his loved ones.

Dave Webber said: "It’s the world we live in now. I went to bed on the 12th (of June) and I woke up on the 13th a different person, a different man and that’s the man I’m going to be for the rest of my life and I have to, somehow, work out how that life is going to be for me, because I’m still not sure.

"But I’d like to just get what’s happening out the way (the court case), get that boxed off and then move on from where I am right now.

"I need to somehow work out my ‘new normal’. I need to work out where my new normal is. Because I don’t know where my new normal is. But until justice is served, until we end up where we need to be I can’t focus on anything else. It encompasses my life."

Barney was one of three people killed that day - his fellow Nottingham University student Grace O’Malley Kumar and 65 year-old school caretaker Ian Coates the others. His birthday celebration saw people come from across the country.

Barnaby Webber and Grace O'Malley Kumar were killed by Calocane as they walked home from a night out in Nottingham. Credit: Family handout

It was organised by Barney's teammates at Bishops Hull Cricket Club, including Ed Smith, who said: "I thought it was the best way to put it together - to get his all his friends and family here at the cricket club, where he spent most of his time, with his bar, Barney’s Bar, that we raised from a fundraiser we put on in mid summer. We thought a bench, maybe a tree but what would Barney want? I think we settled on a bar - he’d quite like that!

Another organiser, Jakarta Allen-Skinner, said: "I just think people want to remember him for his smile and not anything else - nothing down like what’s happened to him just smiles, what he was and the funny jokes.

Friend Thomas Houghton-King said: "He was one of the best friends you could have had but I feel that because he was my friend he made me a better person."

Another friend, Oliver Ford, travelled from Thatcham in Berkshire for the event. He struck up a friendship with Barney after meeting him on holiday. He said: "I trusted him with everything in my life. He helped me in so many decisions and we had a bond that wasn’t just a friendship, it was a bit of a brotherhood I think - Tom could probably agree with that. There were so many layers to our friendship."

Family friend Kirk Hunt is godfather to Barney's brother, Charlie. He said he took on a similar role for Barney after his godfather passed away. He said Barney was a 'one off': "He’d walk into a room and brighten up the room, and everything would lighten up. He had that way, this infectious smile which I can visualise. That’s what I visualise. Not a day has gone by since June I don’t think about him. I think about him all the time."

The event was a night for Barney's friends and family to unite and celebrate him. Dave Webber said it was an uplifting experience, saying: "We’ve lost him, he’s gone, but people are here raising a glass. The stories I’m hearing are touching and the people that are here tonight are incredible so it’s just lovely to see. And to see his bar - it’s lovely to see. It’s lovely to see what they’ve done here for him and it just keeps his legacy alive. His memory will never go."