‘I’ve lost my best friend’: Families of Grace and Barney give impact statements in court

‘Barney was a vibrant loving boy growing into a man’


The families of Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar have today made victim statements at the hearing of the man who attacked them last summer.

Valdo Calocane appeared at Nottingham Crown Court where his guilty plea of manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility has been accepted, as reported by Nottinghamshire Live.

University of Nottingham first year students Grace and Barney were both 19-years-old, when they were fatally stabbed in the early hours on June 13th 2023 on Ilkeston Road.

Barney’s mum stared intently at Calocane as she read her own statement to the court saying: “Barney did not lose his life on June 13th, it was taken from him. Stolen in the most vicious, unprovoked, senseless and evil way imaginable, murdered by a monster who sits in this court today.”

 

Barney’s dad then spoke describing how he was a “vibrant loving boy growing into man.” He described how much Barney “loved coming to Nottingham” as much as he loved visiting his son at university.

He then directed his words at Calocane saying: “Due to your unbelievably savage actions I will never see him again and I will fight to my last breath to get justice for him.”

James O’Malley-Kumar, Grace’s 17-year-old brother also read a victim impact statement to the court in which he described how he continues to sleep with Grace’s university t-shirt on his pillow. He described Grace as his “best friend who always had my best interests at heart.” Turning to face Calocane he said: “While you rot away we are left, as a family, with a gapping hole in our lives, you have single-handidly ruined my life.”

Grace’s mum spoke of her difficulties in continuing her role as an anaesthetist in London since her daughter’s death saying: “How she was butchered at his hands has left me incapable of continuing my role in an operating theatre.

“Intrusive images of what happened to my baby girl haunt me, she was never going to survive an attack from a man that was determined to kill.”

Grace’s Dad then spoke telling everyone how proud he was when she had decided to study medicine. He spoke to Calocane directly and said: “You planned your attack, you bought multiple knives and picked children to attack. Our children.

“Then you went and attacked an elderly man, the weakest members of society and that is cowardly and unforgivable. You showed yourself to be a cold, calculating and cowardly killer, you brought violence to our shores and to our doors.”

He also spoke to the BBC telling them how he felt justice has not been done for his daughter.

He said: “At the end of the day, when you strip everything away, these children were walking home from a great night out, they were attacked and murdered brutally.”

The court proceedings have ended for the day and the court will reassemble tomorrow morning where Valdo Calocane’s sentencing will continue.

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