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The father of Nottingham stab victim Grace O’Malley Kumar today said bereaved families need ‘black and white’ reassurance that triple killer Valdo Calocane will never be released. 

Dr Sanjoy Kumar blasted the criminal justice system as unjust and unfair after a judge ruled yesterday that the killer’s sentence of an indefinite hospital order was not unduly lenient.

The paranoid schizophrenic was given the order for manslaughter after he ‘brutally’ stabbed to death Grace and fellow student Barney Webber, both 19, and school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, in the early hours of June 13 last year. 

The Court of Appeal in London yesterday refused to change the sentence, and Grace’s father today said they have not been given any reassurance that ‘this man is not coming out’.  

‘There are so many people that are released from public orders and what we want is something in black and white or there has to be a change in the law… that this man can never be released because he is too much of a risk to the public, but we need that in black and white we need that reassurance,’ he told Good Morning Britain.

Father of Nottingham stab victim Grace O’Malley Kumar says bereaved families need ‘black and white’ reassurance that triple killer Valdo Calocane will never be released after judge rules not to change his sentence

Valdo Calocane ‘brutally’ stabbed to death students Barney Webber (centre) and Grace O’Malley-Kumar (right), both 19, and school caretaker Ian Coates (left), 65, in the early hours of June 13 last year

Dr Sanjoy Kumar (centre), on Good Morning Britain with Barney Webber's mother, Emma, and Ian Coate's son James, says bereaved families need 'black and white' reassurance that triple killer Calocane will never be released

Dr Sanjoy Kumar (centre), on Good Morning Britain with Barney Webber’s mother, Emma, and Ian Coate’s son James, says bereaved families need ‘black and white’ reassurance that triple killer Calocane will never be released

Calocane, 32, admitted three charges of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at Nottingham Crown Court

Calocane, 32, admitted three charges of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at Nottingham Crown Court

‘Not just for us we need it for our children. When we are gone do you think it is fair that our children should be worried about this man being released or members of the public?’

He accused the justice system of not being ‘victim-centred’ that is ‘so unfair and so unjust that this can not happen to any other family’. 

Dr Kumar added: ‘They should be victim-centred because we are left behind with broken families and all of the absolute heartbreak we are going through and having to fight for this now.’

In a statement released yesterday after the judge’s ruling, Barney’s mother, Emma, called for urgent reforms in the UK homicide law and said ’90 per cent of people serving hospital orders are out within 10 years and 98 per cent within 20 years’.

She told Good Morning Britain co-host Susanna Reid today they had to make Calocane that two per cent of people who are not released.  

‘We have to make him Ian Brady, Fred West,’ she said. ‘This is a legacy for our children, your [Dr Kumar] children, and Ian’s grandchildren. It’s wrong.’ 

Son of Ian Coates, James, who stopped a thief in his shop in the middle of an interview, told BBC Radio 4 this morning: ‘It was looking likely like this [hospital order] was going to happen and, to be fair, the judges and the appeal can only deal with the evidence they have been given. 

‘Our problem the whole time has been that the investigation has been so poor and there has been so many failing by the police and the NHS that led to Valdo being out on the streets and doing what he did.

‘This is just the first step. It has been the case from the beginning that we needed this to be a public inquiry.’

In an interview broadcast this morning on BBC Breakfast, Mrs Webber revealed the families are no longer able to get any more therapy sessions through Victim Support.

‘So we are trying to navigate this all on our own and it’s taking its toll emotionally, financially and physically,’ she said. 

‘I don’t want to be that campaigner or that woman on the tv again who can’t shut up because this happened to us and it can happen to anybody, anywhere. They were doing absolutely nothing wrong.’  

The families wanted Calocane put on trial for murder but in January this year Nottingham Crown Court accepted his guilty plea to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. 

In a statement following the appeal court’s decision, Barney’s mother Emma Webber today said the families ‘now face their own life sentence’ of ensuring Calocane is not released – while Grace’s father called the ruling ‘disappointing’ and criticised police and mental health services for failures ahead of the killings.

Dr Kumar Mrs Webber after the gave statements outside Nottingham Crown Court in January following Calocane's sentencing

Dr Kumar Mrs Webber after the gave statements outside Nottingham Crown Court in January following Calocane’s sentencing

One of his victims was 19-year-old first year student Grace O'Malley-Kumar, who was stabbed to death while walking home in the early hours of June 13 last year

One of his victims was 19-year-old first year student Grace O’Malley-Kumar, who was stabbed to death while walking home in the early hours of June 13 last year

Prosecutors told how Grace showed 'incredible bravery' to try to protect her friend Barnaby Webber, 19, but the pair were both stabbed to death

Prosecutors told how Grace showed ‘incredible bravery’ to try to protect her friend Barnaby Webber, 19, but the pair were both stabbed to death

Calocane went on to kill school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, later that same morning

Calocane went on to kill school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, later that same morning

Grace O'Malley-Kumar's parents Dr Sinead O'Malley and Dr Sanjoy Kumar are pictured emerging from the Royal Courts of Justice in London this morning after the ruling

Grace O’Malley-Kumar’s parents Dr Sinead O’Malley and Dr Sanjoy Kumar are pictured emerging from the Royal Courts of Justice in London this morning after the ruling

The Lady Chief Justice Baroness Carr (pictured) today ruled at London's Court of Appeal that Calocane's original sentence was 'not arguably unduly lenient'

The Lady Chief Justice Baroness Carr (pictured) today ruled at London’s Court of Appeal that Calocane’s original sentence was ‘not arguably unduly lenient’

The Attorney General referred the sentence to the Court of Appeal in February.

Lawyers argued last week that Calocane should be given a ‘hybrid’ order where he would be treated before serving the remainder of the sentence in custody.

But three senior judges dismissed the bid today, stating that while Calocane’s offences caused ‘unimaginable grief’, his sentence was not unduly lenient as his paranoid schizophrenia was ‘the sole identified cause of these crimes’.

In a statement following the Court of Appeal’s decision not to change the sentence of Valdo Calocane, Barnaby’s mother Emma Webber said: ‘Today’s ruling comes as no surprise to the families of the Nottingham attack victims.

‘It was inevitable and was not a review of anything other than the letter of the law as it stands.

‘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. It also illustrates the need for urgent reforms in the UK homicide law.

‘The fact remains, despite the words of the judge, that almost 90 per cent of people serving hospital orders are out within 10 years and 98 per cent within 20 years.

‘In effect, the families now face their own life sentence of ensuring the monster that is Valdo Calocane becomes the next Ian Brady or Fred West and is never released.

‘Given the failed investigation carried out by Nottingham Police, the weak prosecution put forward by East Midlands CPS and the over-reliance on doctors’ reports, there was probably no other conclusion that could be made.

‘The families have raised their concerns already with the Government with regard to obvious errors and omissions that have resulted in this tragedy.’

Giving the court’s judgment, the Lady Chief Justice Baroness Carr earlier said: ‘There was no error in the approach adopted by the judge. The sentences imposed were not arguably unduly lenient.’

Calocane, who attended via a video link from Ashworth high-security hospital near Liverpool, did not react as the judges gave their decision.

Grace O'Malley-Kumar's parents Dr Sanjoy Kumar (left) and Dr Sinead O'Malley (right) arrived at the Royal Courts of Justice this morning to hear the decision on Calocane's sentence

Grace O’Malley-Kumar’s parents Dr Sanjoy Kumar (left) and Dr Sinead O’Malley (right) arrived at the Royal Courts of Justice this morning to hear the decision on Calocane’s sentence

Dr Sinead O'Malley and Dr Sanjoy Kumar, parents of Grace O'Malley-Kumar, Ian Coates's son James Coates and Emma and David Webber, parents of Barnaby Webber, are pictured speaking to the media outside the Royal Courts of Justice last Wednesday

Dr Sinead O’Malley and Dr Sanjoy Kumar, parents of Grace O’Malley-Kumar, Ian Coates’s son James Coates and Emma and David Webber, parents of Barnaby Webber, are pictured speaking to the media outside the Royal Courts of Justice last Wednesday

Grace O'Malley Kumar was praised in court for her 'incredible bravery' trying to protect her friend Barnaby Webber from Valdo Calocane's dagger blows

Grace O’Malley Kumar was praised in court for her ‘incredible bravery’ trying to protect her friend Barnaby Webber from Valdo Calocane’s dagger blows

In her summary, Baroness Carr said: ‘It is impossible to read of the circumstances of this offending without the greatest possible sympathy for the victims of these terrible attacks, and their family and friends.

‘The victim impact statements paint a graphic picture of the appalling effects of the offender’s conduct.

‘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.’

Dr Sanjoy Kumar and Dr Sinead O’Malley, the parents of Ms O’Malley-Kumar, attended the Royal Courts of Justice today while the relatives of Mr Webber and Mr Coates did not appear. 

Speaking outside court afterwards, Dr Kumar called the ruling ‘disappointing, but not unexpected’.

He told reporters: ‘The Nottingham attacks were entirely preventable. Nottinghamshire Police failed to produce a warrant for many months, a flawed investigation, no toxicology, over-reliance on psychiatric reports.

‘Leicestershire Police failed to arrest Valdo Calocane. This is a failure of two police forces, a failure of the mental health trust, along with Nottinghamshire Council as well.

‘Missed multiple opportunities to prevent the Nottingham attacks and the murder of our children and Ian Coates is what has led us here today.

‘We have continued 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.

‘We thank everyone for the outpouring of support for our brave and beautiful daughter, Grace.’

The family of Barnaby Webber, second left, with his father David Webber, left, mother Emma and brother Charlie

The family of Barnaby Webber, second left, with his father David Webber, left, mother Emma and brother Charlie

Victim Grace O'Malley-Kumar, left, pictured with father Dr Sanjoy Kumar, who has criticised 'gaps' in Valdo Calocane's treatment, alongside Grace's mother Sinead and brother James

Victim Grace O’Malley-Kumar, left, pictured with father Dr Sanjoy Kumar, who has criticised ‘gaps’ in Valdo Calocane’s treatment, alongside Grace’s mother Sinead and brother James 

Flowers were laid at the Ilkeston Road scene in Nottingham where Grace and Barnaby were killed, including by Barnaby's father David Webber

Flowers were laid at the Ilkeston Road scene in Nottingham where Grace and Barnaby were killed, including by Barnaby’s father David Webber

Calocane fatally stabbed students Mr Webber and Ms O’Malley-Kumar as they walked home from a night out in the early hours of June 13 last year, before killing Mr Coates and stealing his van.

He then used the vehicle to knock down three pedestrians, Wayne Birkett, Marcin Gawronski and Sharon Miller, in Nottingham city centre before being arrested.

It was later revealed that Nottinghamshire Police failed to catch him for nine months ahead of the killings despite having a warrant for his arrest issued in September 2020 for failure to attend court over an assault on a PC a year earlier. 

Mr Justice Turner, sentencing judge at the Nottingham Crown Court trial, told Calocane that his ‘sickening crimes’ meant he would be detained indefinitely in a high-security hospital ‘very probably for the rest of your life’.

He also ruled that Calocane should be subject to further restrictions if ever discharged from hospital, which would need to be approved by the Justice Secretary.

The families of the victims criticised the sentence, with Mr Webber’s mother Emma telling reporters outside court: ‘True justice has not been served today.’

While a later review found that prosecutors were right to accept Calocane’s pleas, Attorney General Victoria Prentis referred the sentence to the Court of Appeal, describing the killings as ‘horrific’.

At the hearing in London last Wednesday, Deanna Heer, representing the Attorney General’s Office, said Calocane’s ‘extreme’ crimes warranted ‘the imposition of a sentence with a penal element, an element of punishment’.

But Peter Joyce, for Calocane, said none of the offences would have been committed ‘but for the psychosis’ and that imposing a hybrid order would mean he would be ‘punished for being mentally ill’.

Mrs Webber’s statement in response to today’s Appeal Court judgment criticise dhow there was no mention of previous police failures to execute warrants for Calocane’s arrest nor earlier violent attacks he committed.

She also said there were ‘no questions about why he received no mental health assessment in custody, no treatment until mid September and remained in prison until November.

She added: ‘Also, no questioning of why the defence doctor assessed him in July but did not release his report until October and why the CPS doctor did not see him until mid November.

Dr Sanjoy Kumar, speaking outside court today, ended by saying: 'We thank everyone for the outpouring of support for our brave and beautiful daughter, Grace'

Dr Sanjoy Kumar, speaking outside court today, ended by saying: ‘We thank everyone for the outpouring of support for our brave and beautiful daughter, Grace’

Barney Webber's mother Emma (pictured) said today's decision was 'no surprise' but showed 'how utterly flawed and under-resourced the criminal justice system in the UK is'

Barney Webber’s mother Emma (pictured) said today’s decision was ‘no surprise’ but showed ‘how utterly flawed and under-resourced the criminal justice system in the UK is’

Emma Webber, pictured alongside husband David as they appeared on ITV's This Morning in January this year, today reiterated the family's calls for a public inquiry into the case

Emma Webber, pictured alongside husband David as they appeared on ITV’s This Morning in January this year, today reiterated the family’s calls for a public inquiry into the case

‘There are many, many more serious questions that the families will now continue to fight to get answered.

‘We do not and never will agree that the vicious, calculated and planned attacks carried out were that of an individual who was at zero level of capability.

‘We have never disputed that he is mentally unwell – however, he knew what he was doing, he knew that it was wrong; but he did it anyway. There should be an element of punishment for such a heinous act alongside appropriate treatment.

‘This is just one part of the fight for justice and appropriate accountability for failures that the families have been forced to endure. 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.’



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