Family of Nottinghamshire stabbing victim have 'nothing left' after tragic death abroad

The family of a Nottinghamshire man who was killed while travelling in Europe say that they still feel "exactly the same now" as the minute they heard he had died. Danny Castledine from Mansfield was stabbed to death in Amsterdam on June 1, 2022 while travelling through Europe on his way to a Belgian music festival.

His killer, a 22-year-old Belgian national referred to as "Nongo B", was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for 14 years in February 2024. Two years on from Danny's death, his sister Chloe, mother Alison and father Paul have spoken about their immeasurable heartbreak.

Alison said: “What people don’t realise is our lives have gone as well – we’ve got nothing left. To know your child died like that is something you can’t ever erase from your mind. We saw Danny in his coffin after he came home, and that picture will stay with me forever. We saw every wound on his body, on his face, on his neck, on his hands, where he’d tried to fight for freedom.

"That will never ever leave me – just thinking what his last minutes were like. The impact is immeasurable and you just cannot put into words what it’s like. Your happiest times turn into your worst times. You dread birthdays, Christmases, holidays, as they’re all too painful, and the longer it goes on, it gets harder because you realise you’re never going to see him again.”

Alison, Chloe and Paul Castledine with a photograph held by Chloe in centre of brother Danny who died aged 22
Mother Alison, sister Chloe and father Paul Castledine with a photograph Danny Castledine, who was killed in 2022 -Credit:Nottinghamshire Police

Mr Castledine, 22, had just been on a Caribbean cruise with his family before he set off for Belgium. He had travelled with a friend and they had stopped in Amsterdam on the way and ended up on a night out.

But they had lost each other and CCTV footage showed Danny speaking to strangers, possibly asking for directions or help returning home to where they were staying. One of the strangers was the eventual killer, whom appeared to be friendly towards Danny at first.

But the man ended up stabbing Danny 44 times and leaving him for dead on the basement stairs of a nearby property. The killer was said to be have a disorder in the misuse of certain drugs, notably Oxycodone, benzodiazepines and cannabis, according to experts.

The Castledine family were told by police of his death less than 48 hours after he'd left the family home in the middle of the night. Sister Chloe said she remembered hearing him leave.

She said: "I remember hearing Danny leave in the middle of the night and not getting up to say goodbye, because he’d been at university for months at a time, and I thought it’s just for the weekend, he’s going to be back in a couple of days. That’s one of my biggest regrets, hearing him leave and not knowing that’s the last time he’s ever going to walk out the door.”

Alison said: “You go straight into autopilot, but I remember every second of it clearly. I remember falling to the floor and saying, ‘no, Danny, it can’t be Danny’, and looking at Chloe, who was saying ‘no, he’s my best friend, I can’t cope without him’.”

The family went to the killer's sentencing and came face to face with him in the Netherlands. They also visited the spot where Danny was killed.

Chloe said: "Standing where it happened, you can’t even imagine that your feet are stood where his feet were. Looking down the steps where his body was thrown and kicked – there were crisp packets, rubbish, cigarettes – just thinking that your brother was lying there dead for nearly an hour and nobody noticed.

Danny Castledine was killed in an 'extreme outburst of violence'
Danny Castledine was killed in an 'extreme outburst of violence'

“He was just there, covered in his own blood, possibly still alive, but couldn’t call for help. Somebody that you’ve loved for your entire life and spent every day with. Then somebody just threw him away like he was completely nothing.”

Talking of the killer, she said: “It was shocking to look into the eyes of the last person that saw my brother alive and to see them just completely deadpan, with no emotion, no remorse, nothing. He doesn’t believe he’s done anything wrong and that makes it a million times harder. It’s completely inhuman."

The family has set up a clothing brand and the Danny C foundation in the hope of raising money in a fight against knife crime. A charity launch event will take place at the National Justice Museum on June 13.