Nottingham killer’s sentence not unduly lenient, judges rule

13 minutes agoAbout sharing

Valdo Calocane was sentenced to a hospital order in January after admitting manslaughter

By Will Jefford
BBC News, Nottingham

The sentence of a man who stabbed three people to death in Nottingham was not unduly lenient, judges have ruled.

Valdo Calocane killed Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, and 65-year-old Ian Coates on 13 June 2023.

He was given an indefinite hospital order after prosecutors accepted a plea of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Mr Webber’s mother, Emma Webber, said the Court of Appeal ruling came as “no surprise” to the victims’ families.

Speaking at the hearing on Tuesday, Lady Chief Justice Baroness Carr concluded there was “no error” in the approach taken by Mr Justice Turner at Nottingham Crown Court in January.

She said Calocane was in the “grips of a severe psychotic episode” at the time.

Mr Justice Turner came to the “reasonable conclusion” that the aim of protecting the public would be best served by a hospital order, she added.

In a statement following the hearing, Mrs Webber said the ruling illustrated the need for “urgent reforms” in UK homicide law.

“Despite the fact that the attorney general herself feels that Valdo Calocane did not receive the appropriate sentence, today’s outcome proves how utterly flawed and under-resourced the criminal justice system in the UK is,” she said.

“So far, there have been no less than eight individual reports, reviews and investigations.

“We do not believe that there is any chance these can be cohesive enough to ensure a full and detailed outcome, and therefore call for a public inquiry.”

Ian Coates, Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar died at the scene of the attacks

Dr Sanjoy Kumar, father of Ms O’Malley-Kumar, said the attacks were “entirely preventable”.

“It is the missed multiple opportunities to prevent the Nottingham attacks and the murder of our children and Ian Coates, is what has led us here today,” he said.

“We will continue to pursue agencies that failed us and hold them responsible for the Nottingham attacks so that no other family is made to suffer like ours.”

Calocane, 32, had been diagnosed with treatment-resistant paranoid schizophrenia before the attacks.

In addition to killing Mr Webber, Ms O’Malley-Kumar and Mr Coates, Calocane stole Mr Coates’s van and used it to drive at three pedestrians, who were all left seriously injured.

The review into the sentence, launched by the attorney general, was held by the Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Justice Edis and Mr Justice Garnham.

Footage shows timeline of Nottingham attacks and killer’s arrest

In summing up their conclusion, Baroness Carr said: “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.”

During the hearing, Calocane watched on from a unit in Ashworth High Secure Hospital.

He did not respond when asked to confirm he could hear the ruling – but a member of hospital staff indicated that the judgement could be heard via the video link.

Deanna Heer KC, representing the attorney general’s office, had previously argued Calocane should have received a hospital and limitation direction, through which he would be treated in hospital before being transferred to prison.

While not criticising the approach of the original sentencing judge, she said psychiatrists who gave evidence to the court had not commented on the need for custodial action.

Follow BBC Nottingham on Facebook, on X, or on Instagram. Send your story ideas to eastmidsnews@bbc.co.uk or via WhatsApp on 0808 100 2210.

5 days ago19 April10 April20 February2 February29 January29 January26 January25 January

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Share:

Table of Contents

More Posts