Fresh call for Nottingham Attacks public inquiry as appeal begins

It's been a long, exhausting and traumatic 11 months for the families of Barnaby Webber, Grace O'Malley Kumar and Ian Coates. But as the appeal against the "unduly lenient" sentence of killer Valdo Calocane is heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday, May 8, it is clear they will not give up their relentless pursuit of what they believe is right.

In a new statement, the families have reiterated their calls for a public inquiry. And in a fresh push for justice, the families have enlisted the help of legal advisor Radd Seiger, who fought for the family of Harry Dunn after his motorcycle crash and who they described in their statement as one of "the best advisors and lawyers in the country".

Their statement said: "Barney, Grace and Ian should still be with us today. The authorities can not have it both ways. If the monster was as ill as they say he was at the time of the killings, then he simply should not have been on the streets free to destroy anyone who crossed his path, as he did.

"It will not be good enough to just learn lessons following their passing. We will not rest until those lessons are not only learned, but that all steps are put in place to ensure that no other family will have to endure the hell we are having to endure. We are now surrounding ourselves with the best advisers and lawyers in the country.

"Each have a track record of holding the State to account when it has failed its people. We are now instructing them to go to work on Barney, Grace and Ian's behalf and make this happen. They will now be taking steps to prepare for and ensure that the fullest possible public enquiry is held into why our loved ones were lost so needlessly and what is to be done to prevent any future such deaths."

Valdo Calocane, 32, stabbed students Grace and Barney and school caretaker Ian to death on the morning of June 13, 2023. He was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order on the grounds of diminished responsibility in January of this year, having been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.

But the furious families of those killed want their loved ones' deaths to be classed as murder, not manslaughter. Earlier on in the statement, the families say that they have "no hope" that the appeal court will overturn the manslaughter conviction.

They revealed that they had, once again, not been consulted in the decision-making process regarding Calocane's sentence and that the referral from Attorney General Victoria Prentis to the Court of Appeal had been made "entirely on her own".

But today they have, even after all the previous court hearings, media appearances, interviews and events, still turned out in London, and will continue to whenever their loved ones' lives - whose lives have become their own - are involved.

You can follow what happened in today's court hearing here. Reporter Joshua Hartley was in court.