Nottingham triple-killing families 'sickened' by cops sharing gruesome details of attacks over WhatsApp

18 February 2024, 23:01 | Updated: 18 February 2024, 23:03

Calocane killed Ian Coates, 65, Barnaby Webber, 19, and his friend Grace O'Malley-Kumar, also 19
Families of the victims killed in the Nottingham triple murder by Valdo Calocane have been left 'sickened' after they learned that officers on the scene shared details of their loved one's injuries to others using WhatsApp. Picture: Alamy

By Chay Quinn

Families of the victims killed in the Nottingham triple stabbing by Valdo Calocane have been left 'sickened' after they learned that officers on the scene shared details of their loved one's injuries to others using WhatsApp.

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A message by an officer on the encrypted platform detailed the horrific injuries suffered by Grace O'Malley-Kumar, Barnaby Webber and Ian Coates.

Another officer, PC Matthew Gell, sent the gruesome details to his wife and a friend on WhatsApp, according to a gross misconduct tribunal.

Read More: Police watchdog investigates Nottingham force over contact with triple killer Valdo Calocane

A source told the Daily Mail that PC Gell was part of a WhatsApp group which was sent the details - alongside operational details of how the police response was being handled.

Slain teen Barnaby's mother, Emma Webber, last night said revelations the "needless voyeurism" by officers "sicken us" - while speaking on behalf of all three bereaved families.

(left-right) James Coates, son of Ian Coates, Emma Webber, mother of Barnaby Webber and Dr Sanjoy Kumar, father of Grace O'Malley-Kumar
James Coates, son of Ian Coates, Emma Webber, mother of Barnaby Webber and Dr Sanjoy Kumar, father of Grace O'Malley-Kumar. Picture: Alamy

Mrs Webber, 51, told the Mail: "What an abhorrent way to conduct an investigation.

"We cannot emphasise how painful this tragedy is for all our families, and to learn that there has been internal needless voyeurism of the vicious knife attacks on our loved ones is unforgivable. We were not, at any point, made aware of this (data breach)."

Former Victims' Commissioner Dame Vera Baird said: "This is absolutely shocking. Extraordinary behaviour from police officers who should know better.

"People like this do not deserve to be police officers because clearly they cannot be trusted with the responsibilities that come with being one.

Grace O'Malley-Kumar
Grace O'Malley-Kumar. Picture: Alamy
Barnaby Webber was stabbed to death by Calocane
Barnaby Webber was stabbed to death by Calocane. Picture: Handout
Ian Coates
Ian Coates. Picture: Alamy

"It is capable of damaging trust in policing – people won't want to reveal things to officers if they worry they will share them with any old person or could be chuckling over their notebooks about private matters."

Calocane, 32, killed 19-year-old university students Barnaby Webber and Grace O'Malley-Kumar in Nottingham on June 13 last year.

He killed 65-year-old Ian Coates, 65, later in the morning, before trying to kill three more people by smashing the school caretaker's van into them.

Calocane was soon arrested but only pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, claiming he hears voices in his head. Prosecutors accepted his plea, and he was sent to Ashworth secure hospital in January.

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