Nottingham attacks: 'Monster' who killed two students and school caretaker will be sentenced for manslaughter

A man who killed three people in a stabbing spree in Nottingham in June last year will be sentenced for manslaughter. 

Valdo Calocane, 32, also known as Adam Medes, denied three counts of murder but admitted three counts of manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility in November 2023.

The judge accepted his plea today.

His victims were two 19-year-old university students, Grace O'Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber, and 65-year-old school caretaker Ian Coates.

The three were randomly targeted and stabbed to death by Calocane on 13 June 2023.

Peter Joyce KC, defending, said Calocane committed the attacks while suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

The families of the victims had hoped for a murder trial, but prosecutors decided he should be sentenced for the lesser charges.

Calocane will also be sentenced for three counts of attempted murder after he tried to run over three pedestrians with a van on the same day he killed Ms O'Malley-Kumar, Mr Webber and Mr Coates.

One of the pedestrians he targeted, Wayne Birkett, ended up in hospital in a critical condition with severe head injuries.

Calocane could face life imprisonment. The judge will also have to consider whether a hospital order is appropriate.

University of Nottingham students Ms O'Malley-Kumar and Mr Webber had been celebrating the end of their exams when Calocane knifed them as they walked home from a night out in the early hours of the morning.

Calocane, who was himself a former student at the university, then targeted caretaker Mr Coates on his way to work at Huntingdon Academy. He stabbed Mr Coates to death and stole his van.

Calocane then hit the three pedestrians, Mr Birkett, Marcin Gawronski and Sharon Miller, while driving Mr Coates's van in the city centre.

He was arrested on the day of the attacks.

Speaking to Sky News, Ms O'Malley-Kumar's family paid tribute to her as a talented hockey player and cricketer.

Mr Webber, a history student from Taunton in Somerset, was also a gifted sportsman.

The family of Mr Webber, a keen cricketer, said he was "an extraordinary 'ordinary' person".

Speaking at a memorial cricket match for her son and Ms O'Malley Kumar in September 2023, Emma Webber said she misses his "beaming smile".

Ian Coates' sons also paid tribute to their dad at a vigil in the city shortly after he was killed.

"My dad was an avid fisherman. He loved his family and he also loved his [Nottingham] Forest [football team]," said James Coates.

His sons also said his death had "rocked everyone's world", adding: "Nobody deserves this but he definitely didn't."

Read more:
Timeline of how attacks unfolded
Fans at cricket match pay tribute to victims

'Painful' for friend to see 'monster' in court

Ollie Chaplin, 20, became close friends with Mr Webber, through the university's cricket club.

"We spent a lot of time together, he was just very funny and a very caring person," said Mr Chaplin.

"He was just a really nice guy, you could get along really easily with him. He was always up for a night out spontaneously."

Mr Chaplin also knew Ms O'Malley-Kumar, from Woodford, in east London, well.

"She was always someone you could go to when something was troubling you, and she would come up with really good advice that you could take and be like 'yeah that's made me feel a lot better about it'."

Speaking to Sky News before sentencing, Mr Chaplin spoke of facing Calocane in court.

"I think just to see him and realise he's not going anywhere, he's very firmly under protection, I think that would be quite good to see," he said.

"But also, I'll be seeing this monster who's done these things to my really good friends and they're not here because of his actions so that will be quite painful."