'I fell to my knees and screamed': Barnaby Webber's mum describes harrowing moment she realised her son had died

26 January 2024, 18:09 | Updated: 27 January 2024, 00:00

Emma Webber said the days after realising her son had died were a 'blur'
Emma Webber said the days after realising her son had died were a 'blur'. Picture: Alamy/Handout
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Barnaby Webber's mum has described the harrowing moment she was told her son had died while their family holiday lodge in north Cornwall.

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Ms Webber was on a work call with colleagues at around 9am on June 13, the day Barnaby was killed by Valdo Calocane, when she heard about an 'incident' that had happened in Nottingham.

While initially thinking Barnaby was probably hungover, she still went to check if her son was okay by looking his location on a phone-tracker app.

It showed he was on a road they "never heard of before" and so called him for five minutes straight. He didn't answer.

Barnaby's friends the confirmed to Ms Webber that he wasn't in his room at university halls.

"Almost at that exact moment it came up on the news that the incident had taken place in Ilkeston Road. Dave said, 'Barney's phone is in Ilkeston Road.'," she told MailOnline.

Emma Webber
Emma Webber. Picture: Alamy
Barnaby Webber
Barnaby Webber. Picture: Handout

Ms Webber and Barnaby's dad, David, called the police and immediately left Cornwall for Nottingham.

They got four miles down the road when they received a phone call every parent dreads.

"Your mind starts racing. You still have hope. Maybe he was a witness. Maybe he's just been injured. We pulled over into a pub car park which is when I heard the words 'deceased', 'driving licence' and 'Barnaby'," Ms Webber went on.

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"Everything started to go black. I can't remember if I was sick, but I got out of the car, fell to my knees on the gravel and screamed.

"Dave was banging and banging the dashboard. I heard the police officer say, 'You need to go to your wife and make sure she's ok.' After that everything went still and cold. I was almost devoid of feeling. I didn't even know how to breathe."

Emma Webber, the mother of Barnaby Webber, speaks during a vigil in Old Market Square, Nottingham, after 19-year-old students Barnaby Webber and Grace O'Malley-Kumar, and school caretaker Ian Coates, 65
Emma Webber, the mother of Barnaby Webber, speaks during a vigil in Old Market Square, Nottingham, after 19-year-old students Barnaby Webber and Grace O'Malley-Kumar, and school caretaker Ian Coates, 65. Picture: Alamy

It comes after Calocane, a paranoid schizophrenic, was handed an indefinite order for killing Barnaby, as well as his friend, Grace O'Malley-Kumar, and school caretaker Ian Coates.

The killer was originally charged with murder but his charge was later downgraded to manslaughter due to his schizophrenia.

The families of the Calocane's victims have heavily criticised the Crown Prosecution Service, claiming they were "railroaded" into accepting the manslaughter plea.

Following a complaint that his sentence was too lenient, Victoria Prentis, the Attorney General, will review the case and could send it to the Court of Appeal for judges to decide whether an indefinite order is appropriate.

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