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Nottingham triple killer can claim thousands in benefits every year after being sent to secure hospital instead of jail
7 February 2024, 06:29
Nottingham triple killer Valdo Calocane will be allowed to claim thousands of pounds from the government every year after being sent to a secure hospital.
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The 32-year-old was ordered to Ashworth Hospital in Merseyside instead of prison.
He was sentenced for killing 19-year-old students Barnaby Webber and Grace O'Malley-Kumar as well as school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, in a knife rampage.
He stole Mr Coates' van and rammed into three pedestrians before police boxed him in and subdued him.
But by being sent to a secure hospital instead of a regular jail, he is eligible for Universal Credit instalments of up to £360 a month.
"This is truly devastating to hear and it adds yet more layers of grief and a sense of injustice to those of us left behind," Emma Webber, Barnaby's mother, told The Telegraph.
"Whilst we are desperately trying to process our enormous grief, battle to try and find a way forwards to return to work and support our families, this vicious monster not only has tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money spent to keep him inside, he can also amass a small fortune of state benefits. How can this possibly be fair?
"This may be the law, but we strongly suggest the law is wrong, and urgently needs to be reviewed."
The families are already furious with Calocane's sentencing, having criticised the decision to accept his manslaughter pleas - a lesser charge than murder.
And his sentence is being reviewed by the attorney general, Victoria Prentis, after complaints the hospital order was too lenient.
A spokesperson for Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust said: "All our patients within Ashworth High Secure Hospital are entitled to state benefits depending on their personal circumstances, which are paid by the Department for Work and Pension according to their rules and regulations."
A spokesman for the government said: "We have been clear that questions need answering in all aspects of this case. Entitlement to benefit is, by law, dependent on sentences handed out, and the Work and Pensions Secretary is looking at the specifics of this case."