Tributes laid to remember Nottingham attacks victims

Tributes laid to remember Nottingham attacks victims

11 minutes agoBy Matt Taylor & Giles Taylor, BBC News, East MidlandsBBCThe victims’ families retracing the footsteps of Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar on the anniversary of their deaths

Walking side by side, united in their grief, the families of two students killed in the Nottingham attacks retraced their footsteps before their lives were cruelly taken exactly one year ago.

Valdo Calocane killed Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, on 13 June along with school caretaker Ian Coates, 65.

On Thursday morning, their families walked the same route that Miss O’Malley-Kumar and Mr Webber took home along Ilkeston Road, Nottingham, before they were fatally stabbed.

The walk in their memory was followed by ceremonies at the University of Nottingham and Huntingdon Academy in St Ann’s, where Mr Coates worked as caretaker.

A single rose was laid in Ilkeston Road to pay tribute to the victims

Family and friends of the victims joined in the procession, laying dozens of roses in Ilkeston Road.

Calocane stabbed Mr Coates in a separate attack in Magdala Road. He stole his van and later drove at three pedestrians.

Hundreds gathered at the university ceremony to pay their respects to the victims.

University of Nottingham students laid roses in Ilkeston Road

‘Bittersweet’ return to Nottingham

David Webber, who joined the walk in memory of his son, told BBC Breakfast that the world changed “immeasurably for us” a year ago and that being in Nottingham felt “surreal”.

He added: “Barnaby and Grace loved this university. Ian loved this city. We’re here for them.”

Mr Webber added that returning to the city on the first anniversary of the attacks was “bittersweet”.

Nottingham attacks: ‘I want to curl into a ball in the corner’ – dad

“The hardest thing is driving into the city and it’s nothing to do with the city,” he continued.

“It’s to do with what’s happened here and knowing my son’s last breath was here.

“If you asked me what I really wanted to do, I want to curl into a ball in the corner of my bedroom and just not leave, but that’s not what Barnaby would want me to do. That’s probably not what Grace or Ian would want me to do.”

Floral tributes have been laid at the University of Nottingham

At Huntingdon Academy in the St Ann’ area of Nottingham, pupils paid tribute to Ian Coates, who had been the caretaker there for seven years and was on his way to work when he was killed.

An exhibition in his honour was displayed, with children wearing red to symbolise love and kindness, and honour Mr Coates’s love of Nottingham Forest.

His son Lee said: “What they’ve done is amazing, and the effort they’ve put in is really nice.

“It’s nice to know at a young age it’s okay not to be okay, and they’ve got a place to go and people to speak to.

“I think that’s vital.”

Lee Coates said he was moved by tributes from pupils at the school where his father Ian had worked

Calocane was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order after admitting manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, medical experts provided “overwhelming” evidence that he was suffering from a serious mental health condition at the time of the attacks.

Calocane’s sentence was challenged by the victims’ families, but the Court of Appeal ruled in May that it was not unduly lenient.

Mr Webber said that all three families of the victims had “paid the ultimate price” as he called for a change to the country’s justice system.

He and his wife Emma Webber called for a public inquiry into the case back in January.

Ian Coates, Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar were killed on 13 June 2023

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