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Nottingham triple-killer branded ‘monster’ by victims’ family members

Valdo Calocane killed three people in Nottingham (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)
Valdo Calocane killed three people in Nottingham (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

Angry family members of three people stabbed to death on the streets of Nottingham have branded their killer a “monster” as they vowed never to forgive his “abhorrent” actions.

Valdo Calocane was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia when he “deliberately and mercilessly” stabbed students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, and school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, in the early hours of June 13 last year.

Family members of the victims directed their anger at Calocane, 32, who watched on from the dock at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday.

Valdo Calocane court case
Barnaby Webber was Valdo Calocane’s first victim as he walked back to his student accommodation with Grace O’Malley-Kumar (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

From the witness box, Calocane was branded “wicked”, a “monster” and a “menace to society” as they urged judge Mr Justice Turner to hand him the harshest sentence possible.

Barnaby’s father David Webber said the “waves” of pain he has experienced since his eldest son’s death have been “crippling”.

He said: “Your despicable, murderous actions are not repairable in this or any other lifetime. Your evil, vicious, selfish, unforgivable actions have caused damage that will never be repaired.

“I believe in karma; I hope you get all you deserve for the rest of your life.”

Grace’s younger brother told the judge that he did not class the killer as human but as a “delusional coward” whose actions were “unfathomable”.

James O’Malley-Kumar, 17, said in his victim impact statement that his sister’s unlawful killing had shaken his faith in God and religion.

Valdo Calocane court case
Grace O’Malley-Kumar was stabbed to death as she tried to protect her friend Barnaby from Calocane’s blows (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

“No god would allow people like you to exist,” he told Calocane across the packed courtroom.

James also told Calocane, who sat impassively in the dock around 10 metres (32ft) away: “You have put me, as a child, through hell… which is what you deserve.”

Grace’s father, Dr Sanjoy Kumar, accused Calocane of deceiving psychiatrists and called for the “despicable” killer to be “removed from society altogether and forever”.

In his victim impact statement, the primary care physician, who has worked in the NHS for around 30 years, said his daughter “represented everything that is positive about a modern society in Britain and Ireland”.

“The impact of losing our daughter has been utterly devastating for our whole family and our friends,” Dr Kumar told the court.

Valdo Calocane court case
Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Valdo Calocane, 32, appearing at Nottingham Crown Court. (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

He added: “The manner in which Grace lost her life has multiplied the magnitude of our pain.

“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.”

Sinead O’Malley, Grace’s mother, said: “The revolting cowardice of the defendant compared to the heroism of our Gracie is incomparable.

“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.”

Addressing her daughter’s killer in the dock, she said: “You are responsible for our ongoing pain and heartbreak.

“You are duplicitous and manipulative. You have shown no remorse.

“You understood right from wrong. You have violence in your soul.

“You are medically non-compliant and are never to be trusted. You remain a danger to society and the wider public.

“We know justice will be served. The public needs to be protected from you.”

James Coates, son of Mr Coates, said his father was just five months away from retirement before he was killed.

He said: “He didn’t get the chance because a selfish monster decided to go on a spree killing.

“We shouldn’t be here, we should be at work, but we can’t because he killed our father.

“To have a life taken so horrifically is something you will never come to terms with. The effect this has had on us cannot be put into words.

“The reason for our very existence, gone.”

Addressing Calocane directly, Mr Coates said: “You claim voices told you to kill people. Now listen to me – kill yourself.”

Nottingham Crown Court heard earlier on Tuesday that Calocane, who has admitted three counts of manslaughter and three of attempted murder after hitting pedestrians with the van he had stolen from Mr Coates, called his brother hours before the spate of attacks to tell him to “disassociate” from him.

His first victims, Grace and Barnaby, had been walking home along Ilkeston Road at around 4am after an end-of-term night out when Calocane approached, pulled a dagger out of his bag and started stabbing Barnaby, prosecutor Karim Khalil KC said.

He added that Grace had shown “incredible bravery” by trying to protect Barnaby from Calocane’s blows and tried to fight him off, pushing him away and into the road.

The killer then turned his attention to her and was “as uncompromisingly brutal in his assault of Grace as he was in his assault of Barnaby”, Mr Khalil said.

Family members in the public gallery sobbed as Mr Khalil told the court Grace’s injuries were too severe and she collapsed as Barnaby tried to defend himself from the ground, kicking out at his attacker, before Calocane “calmly” walked away.

Mr Khalil said much of the “devastating” attack was captured on CCTV footage from the dash-cam of a taxi which was parked overlooking the road, and also from a mobile telephone of a neighbour.

“That footage shows that the devastating violence of the attacks was mirrored only by the deliberate and merciless way the defendant acted,” Mr Khalil said.

Calocane then made his way from the scene of the double killing to a residential hostel in Mapperley Road, where he arrived at about 5am.

At 5.04am he sought to gain access to the premises through ground floor windows, but “retreated” after being confronted by an occupant who punched him in the face.

Mr Coates was driving his van in nearby Magdala Road and was repeatedly stabbed, suffering wounds to his abdomen and chest, at about 5.14am.

Mr Khalil told the court: “The defendant then took Ian Coates’ van, leaving him for dead.”

Mr Coates was discovered by members of the public shortly after 5.30am, found to be unresponsive and was pronounced dead shortly after paramedics and police arrived.

The court heard Calocane then drove the Vauxhall Vivaro south onto Woodborough Road, towards the city centre, and at 5.23am was driving south on Milton Street.

Mr Khalil added that pedestrian Wayne Birkett was crossing Milton Street when the defendant “deliberately and violently changed the direction” of the van, causing his victim to be “flipped” onto the pavement.

Mr Birkett suffered a fractured skull, causing a bleed to his brain, and was said to be extremely fortunate to survive.

The defendant then drove in a loop and was seen by a marked police car at about 5.29am.

Officers activated their lights but Calocane accelerated away and then knocked down Sharon Miller and Marcin Gawronski, who were walking to work across a pedestrian central reservation at a junction of Market Street.

Ms Miller and Mr Gawronski were also both extremely fortunate to survive, the court heard.

Calocane was arrested after being Tasered around five minutes after the final victims were injured, after producing a knife when the van was stopped and boxed in by police vehicles.

A search of his backpack found two other knives and a scaffold pole which prosecutors say was not used in the attacks but served as “back up” should the dagger not be “available” to him.

The sentencing of Calocane has been adjourned until Wednesday at 10.30am, with evidence expected to be given to the court by psychiatrists.

Defence KC Peter Joyce is also expected to make submissions on behalf of the defendant.