Father's tribute to ‘angelic’ Grace O'Malley-Kumar as over 1,000 fill cathedral for Nottingham attack victim's funeral

21 July 2023, 16:32 | Updated: 21 July 2023, 16:45

The funeral is being held for Grace Kumar in Westminster today.
The funeral is being held for Grace Kumar in Westminster today. Picture: PA

By Jenny Medlicott

The father of 19-year-old Grace O'Malley-Kumar who was a victim in the Nottingham attacks last month has paid tribute to his “angelic girl” at the Westminster funeral.

At least a thousand people gathered in Westminster on Friday afternoon to pay their respects to Grace O’Malley-Kumar.

Grace was one of three to fall victim to the June Nottingham attacks, alongside fellow university student Barnaby Webber and school caretaker Ian Coates.

The funeral service is being held at Westminster Cathedral in London.

Speaking at his daughter’s funeral, her father Dr Sanjoy Kumar said: "No father should be called upon to give a eulogy for their child.

"It's not the natural order of things. It generally means something really unnatural has taken place and unfortunately for me, my beloved daughter Grace has been taken away from us."

Grace, who was a medical student at the University of Nottingham, was killed in a series of attacks in Nottingham in June.

Former University of Nottingham student Valdo Calocane, 31, was charged with the murder of Ms O'Malley-Kumar, Mr Webber and Mr Coates in June.

Read more: 'One day the dawn will break for us': Mother of Nottingham attack victim Barnaby Webber sobs during funeral address

Read more: Victims in Nottingham attacks all suffered stab wounds to the chest, inquest hears

Read more: Nottingham attacks suspect Valdo Calocane appears in court as judge praises 'dignity' of victims' families

Over 1,000 gathered for the Westminster funeral.
Over 1,000 gathered for the Westminster funeral. Picture: PA
The family paid tribute to their 'angelic' daughter.
The family paid tribute to their 'angelic' daughter. Picture: PA

Her father continued: "I look back now and I am astonished by her resolve.

"Here we have a child who wanted to outdo her father and her uncle in public service.

"I have to ask, what kind of angelic child tries to outdo others in serving her country and her community, but that is exactly the sort of girl Grace was, she was truly amazing."

While her mother Sinead O'Malley told those at the service her daughter had been “cruelly and inexplicably taken”.

"She came into our lives here in Westminster at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington.

"Her birth registered here, and it is now from Westminster that she will leave.

"Grace was such a perfect gift to us."

Mourners gathered for the medical student.
Mourners gathered for the medical student. Picture: PA
The family of victim Barnaby Webber also attended the service.
The family of victim Barnaby Webber also attended the service. Picture: PA

The service also heard from her father about how Grace had volunteered to vaccinate people when he became the operations lead for a Covid vaccination centre in Waltham Forest.

He added that she wanted to apply to the Royal Army Medical Corps to further her medical training, as she was inspired by her father and uncle.

It follows History student Barnaby Webber’s funeral, which was held earlier this month in Taunton, Somerset.

Mr Webber’s parents also attended the funeral service in Westminster.

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