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‘True justice has not been served today’ say families of those killed in Nottingham attacks

‘They were let down by the very system that should have been protecting them’


The families of those killed by Valdo Calocane have said that “justice has not been served” following the killer’s sentencing.

Both families including the siblings of Grace and Barney stood on the steps outside Nottingham Crown Court as they spoke to the press after leaving the sentencing hearing.

Emma Webber, Barney’s mum, spoke to members of the press on the court steps. She said: “True justice has not been served today. We as a devastated family have been let down by multiple agencies. The CPS did not consult with us as has been reported instead we have been rushed, hastened and railroaded.

“The first meeting we had with them was Friday 24th November a few short days before the pre-trial hearing. We were presented with a fait accompli. That decision had been made to accept manslaughter charges. We were horrified.

“At no point during the previous five and half months were we given any indication that this could concluded in anything other than murder. We trusted in our system. Foolishly as it turned out.

She does not dispute that Calocane is “mentally unwell” but said that the “pre-meditated planning, the collection of lethal weapons, hiding in the shadows and the brutality of the attacks” demonstrate that “he knew exactly what he was doing.” She added: “He knew entirely that it was wrong but he did it anyway.”

Calocane had just been sentenced to a hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act, for the killings of University of Nottingham students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar and school caretaker Ian Coates.

The  judge was satisfied that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and said that as a result of his condition it is “highly unlikely” that he will ever be released.

Nottinghamshire Police has admitted that it could have done more as Calocane has a nine month outstanding arrest warrant at the time of the attack.

Barney’s mum noted this in her statement by saying: “If you had just done your jobs properly, then there is a very good chance that my beautiful boy would be alive today.”

Ian Coates’ son James also spoke to the press following the sentencing telling them: “This man has made a mockery of the system as he has got away with murder.”

He also described how NHS mental health services along with the police “have to be held accountable for their failures.”

Dr Sanjoy Kumar, Grace’s dad talked of how they “will never come to terms with the loss” of their “beloved” daughter, saying how “she was a gift to us and a gift to the country.”

He said his family has “never questioned” Calocane’s mental health diagnosis but believed that there were “missed opportunities” that require further review and they will be “looking for answers”.

Feature Image via Nottinghamshire Live 

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