Police admit they 'should have done more' to stop triple killer Valdo Calocane before stabbing rampage

24 January 2024, 14:04 | Updated: 24 January 2024, 14:34

Calocane killed three in a stabbing rampage
Calocane killed three in a stabbing rampage. Picture: Handout/NottsPolice

By Emma Soteriou

Police have admitted that they "should have done more" to stop triple killer Valdo Calocane before his stabbing rampage.

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Calocane killed university students Grace O'Malley Kumar and Barnaby Webber as well as school caretaker Ian Coates on June 13 last year.

Police have since confirmed that they were in contact with the killer "on a number of occasions between 2020 and 2022".

A warrant had been out for his arrest for nine months, Assistant Chief Constable Rob Griffin said.

It was issued in September 2022 after Calocane failed to appear in court for the alleged assault on an officer while being taken to a mental health hospital.

He has admitted three counts of manslaughter and three of attempted murder after hitting three other pedestrians with a van he stole from Mr Coates.

Ms O'Malley Kumar and Mr Webber had been returning from a night out to celebrate the end of their exams when they were stabbed to death on Ilkeston Road in Nottingham.

Mr Coates was later found fatally stabbed on Mandala Road.

Read more: Nottingham attacks victim was a ‘hero’ who died 'fighting to save her friend’, family says as killer’s plea is accepted

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

Valdo Calocane
Valdo Calocane. Picture: Notts police

In a statement, Assistant Chief Constable Rob Griffin said: "The devastating impact that the events of 13 June have had and continue to have for the families of those killed and those that survived these dreadful attacks are immeasurable. 

"I can confirm that Nottinghamshire Police previously engaged with the suspect, mostly while supporting our colleagues in the NHS on a number of occasions between 2020 and 2022.

"In September 2021, we were requested to support a Section 135 warrant to section the suspect under the Mental Health Act.

"We transported the suspect to Highbury Hospital and during this encounter he assaulted one of our police officers.

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

"In August 2022, he was reported for summons and was due to attend court on 22 September 2022 for the assault on our officer."

He added: "He failed to appear on that occasion and a warrant for his arrest was issued in September 2022.

"The defendant was never arrested for that warrant which was still outstanding at the point of his arrest in June 2023.

"I have personally reviewed this matter and we should have done more to arrest him. However, because of the circumstance prevailing, at the time of the alleged assault, in my opinion it is highly unlikely that he would have received a custodial sentence."

Ian Coates
Ian Coates. Picture: Alamy

Calocane was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia when he "brutally" attacked the three victims.

He had been hearing voices who threatened him, and once visited MI5's London headquarters to ask them to stop "controlling him", Nottingham Crown Court was told on Wednesday.

Psychiatrists said the 32-year-old heard voices telling him he needed to kill people or his family would be hurt.

Peter Joyce KC said: "He (Calocane) tried to surrender to MI5 at their headquarters to try and stop them controlling him.

"That's not a concoction by him.

"There is a photograph taken by their systems at Thames House, saying 'please arrest me' - effectively 'stop controlling me'."

Mr Joyce said the incident happened on May 31 2021, about two years before his stabbing rampage.

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