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Nottingham triple killer Valdo Calocane sentenced for stabbing students and caretaker in knife rampage

A triple killer who embarked on a terrifying knife rampage around Nottingham and took the lives of two students and a caretaker has been indefinitely hospitalised.

Valdo Calocane, 32, who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia when he “mercilessly” stabbed his victims, has been branded a “monster” by their families who vowed to never forgive his actions. s

Aspiring medic Grace O’Malley-Kumar and history student Barnaby Webber, both aged 19, had been returning home from a night out celebrating the end of exams when they encountered Calocane at around 4am on 13 June last year.

Family members sobbed in the public gallery as they heard how Miss O’Malley-Kumar had shown “incredible bravery” by defending Mr Webber after he was stabbed with a dagger before Calocane turned his attention towards her.

Ian Coates, Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar were all stabbed to death (PA)
Ian Coates, Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar were all stabbed to death (PA)

Witness evidence read to the court described “an awful, blood curdling scream” as Calocane, dressed all in black, inflicted at least 10 stab wounds on Mr Webber and then 23 separate dagger wounds on Miss O’Malley-Kumar.

After inflicting grave injuries upon them both, he calmly walked away and made his way to Magdala Road, where he violently attacked school caretaker Ian Coates.

The 65-year-old, who was due to retire in five months, was repeatedly stabbed before his Vauxhall van was stolen by Calocane, while he was left to die in the street.

The killer then drove into Nottingham city centre, where he used the van to mow down three pedestrians, who fortunately all survived the attack.

Grace O’Malley-Kumar had bravely tried to defend her friend Barnaby Webber (Family handout/PA)
Grace O’Malley-Kumar had bravely tried to defend her friend Barnaby Webber (Family handout/PA)

He was tasered and arrested a few minutes later after the van was pursued and boxed in by police vehicles.

The families of his victims were consulted ahead of the prosecution this week accepting his pleas of guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He had denied murder charges but admitted three counts of attempted murder in relation to the pedestrians.

Speaking outside the court, Barnaby’s mother Emma Webber said that “true justice has not been served today” and that the families had been “let down” by the CPS and the police.

She denied that they had been consulted ahead of the sentencing, and that they had been “railroaded” into accepting the manslaughter charges.

She added that Assistant Chief Constable Rob Griffin had “blood on his hands”, after it emerged that Calocane was “unlawfully at large” at the time of the killings, and was wanted on a warrant for assaulting an emergency worker.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that Calocane, a former student at Nottingham University, had a history of mental health issues and had previously been detained in hospital four times.

In 2021, he tried to surrender himself to MI5 at their headquarters under the belief they were controlling him, and was caught on camera saying: “Please arrest me”.

Barnaby Webber (second left) with his father David, mother Emma and brother Charlie Webber (Family handout/PA) (PA Media)
Barnaby Webber (second left) with his father David, mother Emma and brother Charlie Webber (Family handout/PA) (PA Media)

A month before the fatal attacks, he had allegedly assaulted two colleagues at a warehouse and had been arrested in September 2021 for assaulting a police officer.

The night before the killings, he had called his brother and told him: “This is the last time I will talk to you. After this I will leave you alone … Disassociate yourself from me. If anything happens don’t come and see me in hospital.”

After first attending hospital in May 2020, Calocane was assessed under the Mental Health Act 1983 and was found to be psychotic.

He was discharged in June 2020 to the care of the Nottingham City Crisis Team and advised to take anti-psychotic drugs for a minimum of six to nine months, but was readmitted to hospital a month later after he stopped taking his medication.

Ian Coates was repeatedly stabbed before his van was stolen (Huntingdon Academy)
Ian Coates was repeatedly stabbed before his van was stolen (Huntingdon Academy)

“The theme of (Calocane) being prescribed medication but declining to take it is a constantly recurring one,” prosecutor Karim Khalil KC said.

Police also discovered a bag of unused medication after forcing entry to his flat in February 2021, and he was admitted to hospital again in September and October 2021 and January 2022.

Addressing him in the dock, Grace’s mother Sinead O’Malley said: “You are duplicitous and manipulative. You have shown no remorse. You understood right from wrong. You have violence in your soul.

“You are medically non-compliant and are never to be trusted. You remain a danger to society and the wider public. We know justice will be served. The public needs to be protected from you.”

A CCTV clip shows Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar moments before they were attacked (Nottinghamshire Police/PA Wire)
A CCTV clip shows Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar moments before they were attacked (Nottinghamshire Police/PA Wire)

Her father described her as a “kind, warm and generous person”, while the family of Mr Webber called for justice and punishment.

David Webber told the court: “Your despicable, murderous actions are not reparable in this or any other lifetime. Your evil, vicious, selfish, unforgivable actions have caused damage that will never be repaired.

“I believe in karma, I hope you get all you deserve for the rest of your life.”

Sentencing him, judge Mr Justice Turner said the killer would be detained in a high-security hospital “very probably for the rest of your life”.

Calocane was tasered upon his arrest (Nottinghamshire Police/PA Wire)
Calocane was tasered upon his arrest (Nottinghamshire Police/PA Wire)

He said: “You committed a series of atrocities in this city which ended the lives of three people in this city.

“Your sickening crimes both shocked the nation and wrecked the lives of your surviving victims and the families of them all.”

The judge added that the psychiatric evidence did not detract from the “horror” and impact of the offences, but he said, in his view, Calocane’s abnormality of mind had significantly contributed to him perpetrating the string of attacks.

He ordered that Calocane be detained at the high security Ashworth Hospital under section 37 of the Mental Health Act.