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Who were the victims of the Nottingham attacks?

Ian Coates, Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)
Ian Coates, Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

The Attorney General is set to ask the Court of Appeal to change the sentence of Valdo Calocane, who killed three people in a spate of attacks in Nottingham last year.

Calocane was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order in January after admitting the manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility of Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates on the morning of June 13 2023.

The 32-year-old also admitted the attempted murder of Wayne Birkett, Marcin Gawronski and Sharon Miller by driving a van he stole from Mr Coates into them in Nottingham city centre.

A hearing before three appeal judges will take place at 10.30am on Wednesday, where barristers for the Attorney General’s Office will argue that the sentence is “unduly lenient”.

Here we look at Calocane and his victims.

– Barnaby Webber

Mr Webber, 19, lived in Taunton, Somerset and studied history at the University of Nottingham.

Described as an avid rugby player and cricketer, he played for Bishops Hill Cricket Club, which held a memorial game following his death to honour their “irreplaceable teammate and friend”. He was also a member of the combined cadet forces.

At a vigil in his memory immediately after his death, his mother, Emma, said: “He loved pesto pasta, but he hated cottage pie.

“He was obsessed with aeroplanes and he still carried a dream of being a pilot in the RAF one day.”

Barnaby Webber (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)
Barnaby Webber (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

Professor Shearer West, vice-chancellor of the University of Nottingham, said Mr Webber had a “particular personal interest in geopolitics of both the USA and China” and that his tutors recalled “his energy as a student and as fun, friendly and full of life” in his seminars.

Hundreds attended his funeral at Taunton Minster on July 14 last year, where his brother, Charlie, described him as a “hero”.

In July, his family announced plans to set up a foundation in his memory.

They said: “He lived his life with a simple ‘if he liked you he liked you’ mantra. With no time or judgment for creed, colour, sexuality, religion or background.

“His inclusivity, quiet patience with others, and sheer generosity of his time prove what an extraordinary ‘ordinary’ person he was.”

– Grace O’Malley Kumar

Ms O’Malley-Kumar was described by her family as a “truly wonderful and beautiful young lady” following her death.

The 19-year-old, from Woodford in London, had just completed her first year as a medical student at the University of Nottingham. She previously undertook work placements in a GP surgery and volunteered for the nationwide vaccination programme during the Covid-19 pandemic.

She represented Essex in cricket as a teenager and had also played for England Hockey at under-16 and under-18 level, going on to represent her university in the sport.

Calocane attacked her and Mr Webber in Ilkeston Road, Nottingham, as they walked home from a night out, just 200 metres from their destination.

Nottingham Crown Court heard in January that Ms Webber showed “incredible bravery” by trying to protect Mr Webber as he was attacked.

She succeeded in pushing him away before Calocane turned on her, leaving her with severe injuries in an “uncompromisingly brutal” assault.

Grace O'Malley-Kumar (Family Handout/PA)
Grace O’Malley-Kumar (Family/PA)

In a statement read out in court, her father, Dr Sanjoy Kumar, said: “Grace was a kind, warm and generous person. She was the friend you would want.

“She hated exclusion of others and always tried her to best to defend the lonely.”

Her mother, Sinead O’Malley, said: “I’m so proud of the person she was. She was a wonderful friend.

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

Her family have since established a foundation in her memory, stating they felt “compelled to ensure something good must come” from the attacks.

In April this year, The Sun launched a campaign for her to be awarded a posthumous George Cross – the country’s highest peacetime bravery award.

The campaign was supported by the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, whose spokesman said Ms O’Malley-Kumar’s “leadership example” was “commendable” and the PM would “absolutely” support the campaign.

– Ian Coates

Mr Coates, 65, was a school site manager in Nottingham and was four months from retirement at the time of his death.

He was described as a “much-loved colleague who always went the extra mile”.

Headteacher of Huntingdon Academy Ross Middleton, said Mr Coates was “full of fun with a mischievous glint in his eye”.

Ian Coates (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)
Ian Coates (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

A keen angler, he established coaching clubs for young people to teach them the sport and was a “die-hard” supporter of Premier League side Nottingham Forest.

His son, James, said: “He was everyone’s friend, always willing to help.

“Nobody deserves this but he definitely didn’t. None of them did, it’s a tragedy.”

– Valdo Calocane

At his sentencing hearing, Nottingham Crown Court heard that Calocane came to the UK aged 16 with his family.

Born in Guinea-Bissau in West Africa, he came to the UK after living in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2007 and later graduated from the University of Nottingham.

He first had interactions with mental health services in Nottingham in 2020, when he was deemed to be psychotic and his risk was categorised as low.

But he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in May that year, and several other interactions with mental health services and the police followed throughout 2020, 2021 and 2022.

This included an incident in May 2021 where he attended MI5 headquarters and asked to be detained.

During this time, it is believed he did not take his medication and concealed symptoms to health workers.

Valdo Calocane (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)
Valdo Calocane (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

At the time of the attacks, he was wanted for failing to show up to a court hearing related to a charge of assaulting a police officer, which occurred as police supported mental health services in detaining him so he could be transported to hospital.

During his sentencing, several medical experts concluded that he had paranoid schizophrenia.

Answering questions from defence KC Peter Joyce, forensic psychiatrist Dr Nigel Blackwood said: “I think it overwhelmingly likely that he will spend very many years of his life in secure psychiatric care.”

Another psychiatrist, Dr Leo McSweeney, told Nottingham Crown Court: “I think that (Calocane) is going to remain detained for decades to come.”

“I can’t envisage his release without intensive post-release management.”