Judges rules that Nottingham killer’s sentence was not ‘unduly lenient’

‘Had the offender not suffered the mental condition that he did, the sentencing judge would doubtless have been considering a whole life term’

Senior judges have ruled that the sentence given to the Nottingham Killer, Valdo Calocane, was not “unduly lenient”.

Calocane was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order when he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility of Grace O’Malley-Kumar, Barnaby Webber and Ian Coates, as well as the attempted murder of three others in June 2023.

Last week lawyers argued that Calocane should be given a life sentence, to be treated for his paranoid schizophrenia first before serving the remainder of his jail term in prison, reports SkyNews.

This was rejected in a ruling from the justices at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Summarising the Court of Appeal’s decision, Baroness Carr said: “There was no error in the approach adopted by the judge. The sentences imposed were not arguable unduly lenient.

“It is impossible to read of the circumstances of this offending without the greatest possible sympathy for the victims of these terrible attacks and their family and friends.

“The victim impact statements paint a graphic picture of the appalling effects of the offender’s conduct. Had the offender not suffered the mental condition that he did, the sentencing judge would doubtless have been considering a whole life term.

“But neither the judge nor this court can ignore the medical evidence as to the offender’s condition which led to these dreadful events or the threat to public safety which the offender continues to pose.”

The families of the victimes were in court for the ruling. In statement afterwards, Barnaby’s mother, Emma Webber, said that the outcome “proves how utterly flawed and under-resourced” the justice system is and emphasised the need for urgent reforms to the UK’s homicide law.

University of Nottingham first year students Barnaby and Grace 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 caretake Ian on Magdala Road.

Calocane pleaded not guilty to murdering Barnaby, Grace and Ian but guilty to their manslaughter on the basis on diminished responsibility. Nottingham Crown Court accepted this plea due his history of mental health.

The families of the victims have since criticised Calocane’s sentence saying that “true justice” was not served, instead they were left feeling “let down by multiple agencies”

The judges in the Court of Appeal were only able to assess whether the sentence was unduly lenient based on the evidence before the sentencing judge at the time and could not examine or change the offences for which  Calocane was sentenced and could not look at new evidence regarding the case.

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