A 19-year-old student, Grace O’Malley-Kumar, was killed while bravely trying to protect her friend, Barnaby Webber, from an attack in Nottingham. The incident occurred as they were walking home from a night out. The attacker, Valdo Calocane, initially targeted Webber before turning on O’Malley-Kumar. Calocane’s plea of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility was accepted in court.
O’Malley-Kumar’s father, Dr Sanjoy Kumar, praised his daughter’s courage in court, stating that she put herself in harm’s way to protect her friend. He condemned Calocane as a “cold, cowardly and calculating killer.”
The court heard that the two University of Nottingham students were fatally stabbed on Ilkeston Road after an end-of-term night out. Prosecutor Karim Khalil KC described how O’Malley-Kumar showed “incredible bravery” in trying to protect Webber, but was brutally assaulted by Calocane.
Calocane then left the scene and attempted to gain access to a residential hostel, where he was confronted and punched by an occupant. He subsequently stabbed school caretaker Ian Coates and stole his van. Coates was later found unresponsive and pronounced dead.
Calocane, who also goes by the name Adam Mendes, admitted to attempting to murder three pedestrians whom he hit with the stolen van. He was arrested after being Tasered by police when the van was stopped.
The court was informed that Calocane was suffering from a serious mental illness at the time of the attacks. Despite this, three psychiatrists concluded that he would have understood the nature of his conduct. His sentencing hearing is expected to last for about two days.