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Nottingham killer’s ‘unduly lenient’ sentence to be reviewed by High Court

Valdo Calocane had been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order

The Nottingham killer’s sentence will be referred to the Court of Appeal for being ‘unduly lenient’ after being reviewed by the attorney general.

Valdo Calocane pleaded guilty to the manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility of Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates and was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act after the judge was satisfied that he was suffering paranoid schizophrenia.

The decision has been made unanimously by the Attorney General and the Solicitor General this morning that his sentencing was unduly lenient and it will now be referred to the Court of Appeal, reports Nottinghamshire Live. 

The families of Barnaby, Grace and Ian met with the Attorney General, Victoria Prentis, and the Solicitor General, Robert Courts, on Tuesday to hear the outcome of the referral of the killer’s sentence to the Unduly Lenient Sentencing Scheme.

According to the families the decision was based on the fact that there was insufficient investigation into the culpability of Calocane during the attacks, the minimum term given did not consider the aggravating factors of the planning of the attacks, the premeditation of the murders, the collection of the weapons as well as the risks to harm to others and the fact that the hospital order should have included a penal element under section 45 of the Mental Health Act.

A statement from the families said:“We were very glad to hear that the Attorney General has agreed with us that the sentencing given to Valdo Calocane, who so viciously and calculatedly killed our loved ones, was wrong.

“We are optimistic that when this reaches the Royal Courts of Justice for its appeal there will be an outcome that provides some of the appropriate justice that we have been calling for. It is important to remember that this is just one part of the tragic failures in this case. The investigation into the mental health trust, the CPS and Nottingham and Leicestershire Police still continue.

“We maintain that “there are serious failures in all three agencies that must be fully addressed. Organisational and individual accountability must be taken and where relevant, proper change made.”

University of Nottingham, first year students Grace and Barnaby 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.

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

Government Law Officers will lodge the reference with the Court of Appeal which is the final arbiter on whether the sentence should be amended or not.

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