Nottingham attack: UK government has not ruled out public inquiry into fatal incident

Valdo Calocane treated for paranoid schizophrenia before he killed three people including student from Irish family last year

The UK government has not ruled out a public inquiry into alleged missed opportunities to stop Valdo Calocane before he stabbed three people to death, the father of one of the victims has said.

The 32-year-old stabbed students Barnaby Webber (19) and Grace O’Malley-Kumar (19) and school caretaker Ian Coates (65) with a dagger in Nottingham in the early hours of June 13th last year.

Grace O’Malley-Kumar was the daughter of Irish-born, London-based consultant anaesthetist, Sinead O’Malley and Dr Sanjoy Kumar, a primary care physician with the NHS.

Addressing her daughter’s killer last week in the dock during her victim impact statement, Ms O’Malley said: “You are responsible for our ongoing pain and heartbreak. You are duplicitous and manipulative. You have shown no remorse.”


Grace’s father, Dr Kumar, said his daughter “represented everything that is positive about a modern society in Britain and Ireland ... 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.”

Grace’s brother, 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.

The victims’ families have backed calls for a public inquiry. British prime minister Rishi Sunak has previously resisted them but it emerged on Monday night that he told the families at a meeting in Downing Street that he had not ruled out an inquiry.

Mr Webber’s father David said: “We did get an assurance from the prime minister himself that if it’s required, they’re not ruling out a public inquiry, and they will do a public inquiry.”

Ms O’Malley-Kumar’s brother James said: “We’re not in a rush. We’ve lost our loved ones now, we’ve lost Grace, we’ve lost Ian [Coates], we’ve lost Barnaby [Webber] – we want [an investigation into the attacks] to be as thorough as possible to make sure those gaps are filled and the relevant people have been held accountable.

“The prime minister said that there are plenty of options that could be taken [including] the public inquiry.”

Last week, the killer was given a hospital order for manslaughter by diminished responsibility after the city’s crown court heard he had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Mr Webber’s family called the hospital order a “huge insult”.

It has emerged that police failed to arrest Calocane for allegedly attacking two people weeks before the stabbings.

A special review has also been ordered into the mental health trust that treated him before the killings.

Mr Coates’s son James said there had been failings by “all the different agencies” involved in dealing with his father’s killer.

He said: “They all need looking into, obviously this is just the start.

“I do feel listened to, I think we’ve spoke to the right people that can push this in the right direction, we now just have to wait.

“It doesn’t matter how long it takes as long as it’s done properly – it has to be deep, it has to be detailed, it has to be independent. So we can get results, and everyone else can get results, because at the end of the day there’s a lot more people out there.”

Dr Kumar added: “We have concerns about the police and how they investigated, we have concerns about the CPS and how the case was built, we have concerns about what happened in the custody suite and samples not being taken, and the mental health trust.

“I can’t see how all of these agencies can be covered without something really comprehensive.

“I think it will be something like an inquiry in my mind. There is going to have to be something really umbrella-like.”

The families also said they were “glad to have the opportunity” to speak with the prime minister.

The healthcare watchdog has been asked to report by March on its findings in an investigation into the care Calocane received at Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust before the killings.

However, Mr Webber’s parents told BBC Breakfast a review would be just a “toe in the water” and “not enough” as they called for a full public inquiry.

David Webber said he and his wife were “horrified” there were no plans for an inquiry.

The families met UK Labour Party leader Keir Starmer at the party’s London headquarters earlier on Monday.

Mr Webber’s parents have said they want to speak with Janine McKinney from the Crown Prosecution Service.

The UK attorney general is considering whether judges should review the sentence after receiving a submission that it could be unduly lenient.

Asked why the British government had not set up a public inquiry, the prime minister’s official spokesman said: “We haven’t ruled out further action at this stage. There is already work going on across government.” – PA