Grace's final moments: Family weep as they hear how Nottingham stab victim died heroically trying to protect her friend

23 January 2024, 14:49

Grace O'Malley-Kumar (main) died a hero trying to protect her friend Barnaby Webber(top r) from triple killer Valdo Calocane
Grace O'Malley-Kumar (main) died a hero trying to protect her friend Barnaby Webber(top r) from triple killer Valdo Calocane. Picture: Alamy/Notts police

By StephenRigley

The final moments of Nottingham stab victim Grace O’Malley Kumar were revealed in court as it emerged she tried to save her friend.

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Her family broke down as they heard how Grace, 19, bravely tried to fight triple killer Valdo Calcocane as he repeatedly hacked at Barnaby Webber, also 19, with a "double-edged fighting knife" in the early hours of June 13 last year.

But after Bannaby collapsed, Calocane turned his attention to her and was "as uncompromisingly brutal in his assault of Grace as he was in his assault of Barnaby", prosecutor Karim Khalil KC said.

Relatives wept in the public gallery as he told the court she fell next to her friend while their killer "calmly" walked away to carry on his rampage.

Grace O'Malley-Kumar
Grace O'Malley-Kumar. Picture: Alamy
Barnaby Webber
Barnaby Webber. Picture: Alamy
Ian Coates
Ian Coates. Picture: Alamy

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

Read More: Nottingham attack victim Grace O'Malley-Kumar 'died a hero' after 'trying to save' friend Barnaby Webber

The pair were just 300 yards away from their halls of residence with "unsurvivable" injuries.

Prosecutor Karim Khalil KC said the "brutal" attack was captured from a taxi's dashcam.

He added: "That footage shows that the devastating violence of the attacks was mirrored only by the deliberate and merciless way the defendant acted."

Once he killed Grace and Barnaby, Calocane attempted to break into a home but was punched in the face by a stunned occupant. Undeterred, he made his way to Magdala Road where he came across caretaker Ian Coates.

After stabbing the dad to death, Calocane stole his van and used it to ram the three pedestrians.The triple killer previously admitted the attempted murders of Sharon Miller, Marcin Gawronski and Wayne Birkett, who were injured by the vehicle.

Valdo Calocane
Valdo Calocane. Picture: Notts police

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

Nottingham Crown Court was told Calocane was suffering from "extreme" mental illness at the time, including paranoid schizophrenia. He now faces an indefinite hospital order or a jail sentence after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Grace's family today wept as they praised the "hero" student, who wanted to be a doctor like her dad.

Her brother James, 17, told Sky News: "Grace's last moments were in pain and that's something that really hurts me to think about and she was a hero, that was her character.

"She tried her best to save her friend. That was how Grace lost her life in the most vulnerable manner.

"She would never leave a friend, never, and that was very evident from her last moments. She passed fighting."

James also told how would "never forgive" Calocane for killing Grace and branded her the "best sister I could have asked for".

Calocane is due to be sentenced tomorrow

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