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Tributes pour in after deaths of ‘talented’ University of Nottingham students

Barnaby Webber and Grace Kumar were amongst three killed in yesterday’s ‘major incident’


Tributes have poured in following a series of incidents that left three people dead and a further two injured in Nottingham. The three victims have now been identified as Barnaby Webber, Grace Kumar and Ian Coates.

Barnaby Webber and Grace Kumar were both students at the University of Nottingham.

Barnaby and Grace were both walking back from a nightclub when they were attacked on Ilkeston Street around 4am on Tuesday 13th June whilst Ian Coates was found two miles away on Magdala Road.

Following yesterday’s incidents there has been an outpour of support within the community for the bereaved families and friends of the victims. University of Nottingham’s Students’ Union also cancelled the Graduation Ball that was due to be held that evening and refunded all ticket holders.

Barnaby has been described as a “passionate cricketer” from Taunton in Somerset who was in his first year studying history. His family have described him as a “beautiful brilliant, bright young man with everything in life to look forward to.”

First year medical student Grace, who also played cricket alongside hockey, has been described as “talented and much loved.”

In a statement, Barnaby’s parents said: “At 19 he was just at the start of his journey into adulthood and was developing into a wonderful young man.

“As parents we are enormously proud of everything he achieved and all the plans he has made.

“His brother is bereft beyond belief, and at this time we ask for privacy as a family to be allowed time to process and grieve.

“We are so proud to release these photographs, chosen by us as a family of an amazing son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend.

“Thank you for your understanding and to everyone who has supported us on this awful journey so far.”

— Dan Johnson (@DanJohnsonNews) June 14, 2023

The University of Nottingham’s men’s cricket club has also paid tribute to Barney with an instagram post which says: “It is with a heavy heart that the club has to inform our wider community of the passing away of one of our members.

“Barney was much more loved and popular member of the cricket club who threw himself into everything he did. There are no amount of words we can use that would truly express how much we will miss our mate but we want to emphasise how truly loved he was by us.

“We also want to express our love to his family and friends, we recognise and sympathise with the pain and upset they must be experiencing in this very difficult time.

“We as a club will never forget the influence Barney had on us a group of individuals, his memory will remain forever.”

Grace’s family have released a statement saying: “Grace was an adored daughter and sister, she was truly wonderful and beautiful young lady.

“Grace was not just a sister to James but his best friend. He is completely heartbroken. As parents we cannot explain our complete and utter devastation. She will be so dearly missed.

“We were so incredibly proud of her achievements and what a truly lovely person she was. She was resilient and wise beyond her years.

“Grace was so happy in life fulfilling her ambition of studying to become a doctor whilst playing topflight hockey at university.

“She leaves behind devastated extended family and friends.”

She played hockey for Southgate in London and had made it into the England squad for her age group.

England Hockey have paid tribute to Grace who was a “popular member” of its U16 and U18 squads. It said: “We are all deeply saddened by the news of the tragic death of Grace Kumar in Nottingham on Tuesday.

Adding that its “thoughts are with Grace’s family friends, teammates and the whole hockey community at this time.”

Southgate Hockey Club also released a statement saying: “It  is with profound sadness that we have learned of the death of Grace O’Malley Kumar, a huge talent and much loved member of Southgate U18’s and W1’s.

“We are shocked and devastated by the news, our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Grace’s family and friends  and teammates.”

Prime minister Rishi Sunak thanked police and emergency services in a statement for their ongoing response to the shocking incident that occurred in the city centre.

Shearer West, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nottingham said: “All of us at Nottingham are deeply shocked and saddened by the deaths of two of our students following a major incident in Nottingham city centre.

“I know our entire University community will join me in offering our deepest condolences to their family and friends as well as the other victims of the incident. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this incredibly difficult time.

“The university is supporting the students’ family and friends, as well as staff and students. Our security team is working closely with Nottinghamshire Police and the authorities to support the ongoing investigation into the incident.”

Following the identification of Ian Coates, a site manager at Huntingdon Academy, the school has released a statement: “Ian was a much-loved colleague who always went the extra mile for the benefit of our children and will be greatly missed.

“As a school community, it will take time to process this deeply upsetting news. We wish to extend our sympathy and condolences to all those affected by yesterday’s tragic events.”

Feature images via twitter 

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