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Ex-police officer believes he was assaulted by triple killer Valdo Calocane one year before deadly Nottingham attacks
27 January 2024, 08:29 | Updated: 27 January 2024, 08:31
A former police officer has accused Nottinghamshire Police of potentially missing another opportunity to confront triple-killer Valdo Calocane, a full year before he killed Barnaby Webber, Grace O'Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates in June 2023.
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Jonathan Greentree told LBC he believes he was assaulted by Calocane just a few streets away from Magdala Road, where Coates was repeatedly stabbed last year.
In May 2022, a man matching Calocane’s description approached Mr Greentree before launching a “frenzied” and unprovoked attack: “Out of the blue he just said ‘you need to defend yourself’, which shocked me.
"He punched me, I fell to the ground and he then proceeded to stamp on my head constantly.
“I had to put my arms around my head, and I could feel myself starting to feel a bit dizzy.
"I shouted out to him ‘I’ve got a family, I’ve got children!’ but that just seemed to make the attack more vigorous - he stamped harder and faster on my head.”
The attack was disrupted by the presence of a local resident, whose barking dog prompted the man to flee the scene. At this point, Mr Greentree phoned the police, but as the assailant could not be located, the attending officers did not take a statement from him and he was not asked to attend the station.
“This was such a frenzied and random attack that I was really worried that [because] this person didn’t finish the job off with me, that he’d go out and do this again,” Mr Greentree said.
On Thursday, Calocane, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, was sentenced to a hospital order after pleading guilty to three counts of manslaughter by diminished responsibility.
Recounting how he felt on the day of the Calocane’s attacks in June 2023, Mr Greentree added: “I had a lot of messages from family and friends saying ‘have you seen what’s happened around the corner - are you okay?’
"I looked at the footage throughout the day and saw what I believed to be the man who assaulted me back in 2022.
“I contacted the police, and they got an officer to call me back. He asked if I was ‘100% sure’ it was him, and I said I was only probably 80% sure unless I saw a proper photograph. They said if it’s not 100%, they weren’t going to pursue him.
“[Over] these past two or three days, I finally saw the photograph of him in custody and I burst into tears - I was basically looking at the person who had attacked me… when I saw the custody photograph [of Calocane], it was like being back on Chestnut Grove, where I was assaulted.”
Police forces are under scrutiny for other potential missed opportunities to arrest Calocane prior to June 2023. A warrant for Calocane’s arrest was issued in September 2022 for a separate assault on a police officer.
Such incidents have led to calls for a public inquiry to take place into the circumstances that led to last year’s attacks, a proposal which has been backed by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.
The brother of Grace O'Malley-Kumar, James Grace O'Malley-Kumar, also told LBC’s Nick Ferrari that his family would welcome a public inquiry, before accusing the Assistant Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, Rob Griffin, of having “blood on his hands”.
After the sentencing of Calocane, Mr Griffin said, “I have personally reviewed this matter and we should have done more to arrest him."
Separately, Mr Greentree says he felt “very let down” by the force due to their handling of his case. “To see [Calocane] and to hear about so many missed opportunities, I just wanted my case to be looked into as well as lessons learned for the police.”
Mr Greentree said he continued to feel “really guilty” he did not repeatedly raise his assault with police. If he had, he believes “they [Nottinghamshire Police] may have linked it to this person before the attacks.”
Approached for comment about the details of Mr Greentree’s case, a spokesman for Nottinghamshire police said: “We attended this incident and made lines of inquiry. No suspect was identified.”
The Attorney General is set to review Calocane’s sentence.