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Police disciplined for sharing ‘crude’ messages in group chat about Nottingham attacks

The victims families are ‘utterly horrified’ at the ‘deceptions’ that they have faced from the force


Police officers have received disciplinary action over “crude and distasteful” WhatApps messaged relating to the Nottingham attacks in which three were killed.

Barney Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates were killed by Valdo Calocane in June last year.

Nottinghamshire Police has detailed how its professional standard directorate took action after finding a message post on WhatsApp, describing some of the words as “crude and distasteful”, reports the BBC

PC Mathew Gell received a final warning and another officer received “management intervention.”

Barney’s mum, Emma Webber, told the BBC that the families “hadn’t been made aware” of the data breach but described the conduct of the investigation as “abhorrent.”

In a statement released, she and the other victim’s families were “utterly horrified” at the development saying that it had been “added to the list of other grave concerns and deceptions we have faced from this constabulary.”

Nottinghamshire Police have detailed how its professional standard directorate took action after finding a message post on WhatsApp, describing some of the words as “crude and distasteful.”

PC Gell’s misconduct hearing heard how the officer used systems to look up information on Calocane following his arrest.

The officer also breached strict professional policing standards as he shared information about the case over text messages on the 13th June.

Deputy Chief Constable Steve Cooper said: “Some of the words were crude and distasteful.

“After a thorough review by Professional Standards Directorate (PSD), one other officer was subject to management intervention. No other officers were found to have committed misconduct.

“It is vitally important that the public are made aware of any action by an officer who falls below the extremely high standards we set and that is why these misconduct hearings are held in public.

“All officers have been reminded of the appropriate use of WhatsApp as a result of this misconduct hearing.

University of Nottingham students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar both 19 years old, were fatally stabbed in the early hours of the morning on June 13th 2023 on Ilkeston Road.

Police then found the body of 65-year-old school caretaker Ian Coates on Magdala Road after his van was stolen.

Calocane pleaded not guilty to murdering Barney, Grace and Ian but guilty to their manslaughter on the basis on diminished responsibility.

Calocane was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act after the judge was satisfied that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Since the sentencing, the families of the families have called for a public inquiry which has prompted a series of reviews into the handling of the case by the Crown Prosecution Service and the NHS.

Feature Image via Shutterstock 

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