Nottingham attacks one year on: Families say they will fight for justice over ‘preventable’ deaths

Grace O'Malley-Kumar, Barnaby Webber, both 19, and Ian Coates, 65, died in the June 2023 attacks.

Families of three people killed in the Nottingham attacks say they will keep fighting to hold the authorities to account for the ‘preventable’ deaths, one year on from the tragedy.

Ian Coates, 65, Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, were fatally stabbed in the city by Valdo Calocane early on the morning of June 13 2023.

Calocane then went on to knock down and seriously injure three pedestrians with Mr Coates’ stolen van.

Nottingham Crown Court was later told Calocane was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time, and had a long history of serious mental health problems.

In a joint statement released on the one year anniversary, relatives said they would take time on Thursday to remember “the souls of the three vibrant, caring, hard-working and much loved family members who are no longer here”.

The families repeated their belief Calocane should have been tried for murder, instead of being given an indefinite hospital order for manslaughter and three attempted murders.

The families added: “Today is not the day for fight.

“But tomorrow is. We continue in our relentless pursuit for appropriate justice, individual and organisational accountability, lasting change to our society and laws that will provide improved protection and public safety, appropriate punishment for crimes and improved support for victims and their families.

“As three families we stand united by grief and loss, but fuelled by our anger at the scale of failings, poor policing, weak prosecution, dereliction of duty in medical care and a series of catastrophic missed opportunities that would, and should have stopped these entirely preventable deaths.”

Ian was a caretaker at Huntingdon Academy, St Ann’s, while Barnaby and Grace were both students at the university of Nottingham.

The families’ statement continued: “We have endured much over the past 12 painful and agonising months in our fight for answers and justice.

“Up until this point we have worked tirelessly as families and now with our legal representatives, we will take our fight for accountability to the next level.

“With this support we will ensure the failures of Leicester Police, Nottingham Police and Nottingham Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – amongst others – are exposed and accounted for.

“No stone will be left unturned as we continue on our quest for answers, for however long this may take.”

After Calocane was sentenced in January, it emerged he had previously had contact with Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire Police, as well as NHS mental health services.

At the time of the attacks, he had been the subject of an arrest warrant for 20 months for an assault on a police officer.

Thousands of people attended a vigil at Nottingham’s Old Market Square after the killings.

The Court of Appeal ruled last month that the sentence passed on Calocane, of Burford Road was not unduly lenient after a referral from the attorney general.

The Crown Prosecution Service has previously defended its decision to accept a guilty manslaughter plea from Calocane, saying there was ‘overwhelming’ medical evidence that his actions were influenced by his mental health condition.

Ifti Majid, Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire Healthcare, which runs mental health services in the county, said it was reviewing its previous treatment of Calocane.

Nottinghamshire Police acknowledged they could have “done more” to arrest Calocane but said it was unlikely he would have been detained if he had been arrested and convicted of the earlier assault.


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