Nottingham attack suspect is refusing to answer police questions as detectives probe his mental health

14 June 2023, 16:23

Nottingham knife and van suspect is not cooperating with police
Nottingham knife and van suspect is not cooperating with police. Picture: Sky News/Alamy

By StephenRigley

The Nottingham knife and van suspect held after three people were killed in Nottingham yesterday is refusing to co-operate with police.

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The 31-year-old West African is not a British citizen but has lived in the UK since his teens with legal settled status.

He does not have a criminal record and is not thought to have been on the radar of the security services but is suspected to have a history of mental health problems, sources say.

His failure to co-operate with the police could slow their probe down, The Telegraph reports.

Two Nottingham University students, Barnaby Webber and Grace Kumar, both 19, were stabbed to death near their home in Ilkeston Road at about 4am.

Then about an hour later Ian Coates was stabbed to death in Magdala Road and his van was stolen.

The Vauxhall Vivaro was driven into three people in the city centre. One is in a critical condition in hospital while the other two escaped with minor injuries.

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The van was later stopped and police arrested a man. It was pictured with cracks in the windscreen.

The students were killed at the beginning of the frenzy
The students were killed at the beginning of the frenzy. Picture: Social media
Ian Coates who was killed in Nottingham yesterday
Ian Coates who was killed in Nottingham yesterday. Picture: social media

The attack, which would have taken place when the streets were much quieter than later in the day, raised public concern over whether it was a terror attack. Counter-terror officers deployed to help in raids.

But police have not declared it as such and are examining the suspect's mental health.

A property was later raided in Ilkeston Road, where the rampage began.

Read more: Teenage hockey star named as second student, 19, killed in Nottingham van and knife rampage

A witness said they heard "blood-curdling" screams when the first stabbings broke out.

Barnaby's grandfather Phil Robson said: "It’s tragic. Barney’s parents are in bits as you can imagine. Everyone knows the family locally."

He told The Sun: "We're trying to protect the family. We are still unsure what has gone on at the moment.

"Barney's parents are with officers as we speak."

Hundreds attended a vigil
Hundreds attended a vigil. Picture: Alamy

Barnaby's cricket club, Bishops Hull Cricket Club in Taunton, said: "Today we learnt of the death of our dear friend and team mate, Barnaby Webber.

"Barney was attacked at the early hours of this morning walking home with a friend after a night out on 13/06/2023 and had lost his life.

Read more: 'A truly horrendous, tragic incident': Hundreds gather for vigil to pay tribute to victims of Nottingham attack

"'Webbs' joined the club back in 2021 and has since then been a key part of our club and made such an impact in such a short space of time.

"Playing more than 30 games for the club, scoring 622 runs, and taking 29 wickets, his memory will live on."

Forensics have combed through Nottingham's streets
Forensics have combed through Nottingham's streets. Picture: Alamy
The van showed signs of damage
The van showed signs of damage. Picture: Alamy

Grace played hockey for Southgate in London, and was in her age group's England squad. Her parents were too upset to speak to reporters.

The students are thought to have met through their passion for hockey.

They were coming back from Pryzm nightclub in the city when the attack happened.

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