Nottingham attack suspect remanded in custody on murder and attempted murder charges

17 June 2023, 10:42 | Updated: 17 June 2023, 11:12

Grace Kumar, Barnaby Webber and Ian Coates were stabbed to death in Nottingham.
Grace Kumar, Barnaby Webber and Ian Coates were stabbed to death in Nottingham. Picture: Handout

By Emma Soteriou

A triple murder suspect has been remanded in custody by magistrates after two students and a school caretaker were killed in knife and van attacks in Nottingham.

Former University of Nottingham student Valdo Calocane, who gave his name as Adam Mendes, appeared in the dock at Nottingham Magistrates' Court on Saturday flanked by three security guards.

The 31-year-old is accused of murdering first-year students Grace O'Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber, both 19, and school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Calocane is also alleged to have attempted to murder three pedestrians, Wayne Birkett, Marcin Gawronski and Sharon Miller, after Mr Coates' van was used to drive at people in Milton Street and Upper Parliament Street.

The defendant spoke only to confirm his name as "Adam Mendes", his date of birth and that he was of no fixed abode, and was not required to enter any pleas to the charges.

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Mother of Nottingham victim urges city to ‘hold no hate’ at emotional vigil

Medical student Ms O'Malley-Kumar, from Woodford in London, and history student Mr Webber, from Taunton in Somerset, were found fatally knifed on Ilkeston Road at around 4am.

The Nottingham University students were walking home from a night out when they were attacked.

One woman, who lives nearby, reviewed CCTV footage, which captured the attack, showing Grace's brave efforts to save her friend.

She told the Mail: "The boy and the girl were walking on their own, there was nobody else in the picture except the attacker."

She continued: "The girl had an opportunity to run away. But she didn't...she tried to save the boy.

"They were just walking home from PRYZM after a night out, like young people do."

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

Read more: Man, 31, charged with triple murder after students knifed to death in Nottingham

Ian Coates' friend pays tribute

Mr Coates was later found stabbed to death in Magdala Road after his van was allegedly stolen.

Calocane is alleged to have used the van to drive at a pedestrian in Milton Street and a further two people in South Sherwood Street.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust said two patients are stable and one has been discharged following the van incidents.

Chairwoman of the bench of magistrates, Allison Folkett, remanded Calocane into custody to appear at Nottingham Crown Court on Monday.