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Grace O'Malley-Kumar (19).
Courts

Nottingham killer who stabbed three people, including Grace O’Malley-Kumar, sentenced to indefinite detention in hospital

Grace O’Malley-Kumar was fatally stabbed after she intervened and tried to stop an attack on her friend.

LAST UPDATE | 25 Jan

A MAN WHO stabbed three people to death in Nottingham last summer, including the 19-year-old daughter of an Irish woman, has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order.

The court has heard that Valdo Calocane (32) was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time that he fatally stabbed students Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber (both 19) and Ian Coates (65). 

All three victims were pedestrians on Nottingham city’s streets in the early hours of 13 June, 2023. 

Judge Mr Justice Turner said Calocane would “very probably” be detained in a high security hospital for the rest of his life after the “deliberate and merciless” stabbings. 

He told the killer: “You committed a series of atrocities in this city which ended the lives of three people.

“Your sickening crimes both shocked the nation and wrecked the lives of your surviving victims and the families of them all.”

The judge added: “There was never any doubt that it was you who had committed these appalling crimes.

“It soon became clear however, that the central issue in this case would relate to whether at the time of committing these offences you were suffering from symptoms of severe mental disorder.”

The judge said that the psychiatric evidence did not detract from the “horror” and “disastrous” impact of the offences, but he said, in his view, Calocane’s abnormality of mind had “significantly contributed” to him perpetrating the string of attacks.

Despite being detained in high security Ashworth Hospital since November, Mr Justice Turner said he still “remains dangerous”.

Attack

Grace and Barnaby were friends out walking together on the night of 13 June.

Calocane attacked Barnaby initially, and Grace tried to intervene and fight off the attacker. 

ian coates Barnaby Webber (19).

She suffered stab wounds to her chest and abdomen and defensive stab wounds to her hands and arms.

Ian Coates was a school caretaker who was also attacked by Calocane that night.

The attacker stabbed Ian, and stole his van, and then crashed it into three people.

Grace’s mother, Sinead, who is from Ireland, spoke in court of her daughter’s “heroism” in the face of the attack, in comparison to the “cowardice of the defendant”. 

She said that she is proud of the person her daughter was. 

“She always stood up for her friends and she paid the ultimate price with her life. I remain immensely proud of her bravery,” she said. 

In the course of the trial the court has heard about how Calocane was previously wanted for the assault of an officer, and about how he was wanted for the offence by the time of the 13 June attacks.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Griffin told the court that “more” should have been done to arrest the man, although he speculated that given the prevailing circumstances, he’s unsure that an arrest would have resulted in a custodial sentence. 

He said that an arrest might have resulted in a referral to mental health services, but added that Calocane had not engaged with mental health supports offered to him in the past. 

Grace’s father Dr Sanjoy Kumar has spoken about the “gaps” in what did and didn’t “get done” in relation to Calocane’s mental health history. 

However, Dr Kumar also accused the killer of “deceiving” psychiatrists, and called for him to be removed from society “forever”.

- Additional reporting from Press Association.

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