Posted on January 23, 2024

Man Who Stabbed Nottingham Students to Death in Triple Killing Will Not Face Murder Trial

Fionnula Hainey, Manchester Evening News, January 23, 2024

Valdo Calocane will not face a murder trial after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of three people including two teenage university students in Nottingham .

Valdo Calocane

Valdo Calocane

A court heard today that prosecutors have accepted 32-year-old Calocane’s pleas of not guilty to murder and guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility due to “serious” mental illness.

University students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, and school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, all died during an incident in Nottingham in the early hours of June 13 last year.

Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates

Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates

Calocane fatally knifed the two students on Ilkeston Road at around 4am before Mr Coates was later found dead in Magdala Road, having also been stabbed “repeatedly”. The defendant then used Mr Coates’ van to drive at three pedestrians, Wayne Birkett, Marcin Gawronski and Sharon Miller, who all survived the attack.

Calocane, who answered to the name Adam Mendes in court, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to three counts of manslaughter. He also admitted attempting to murder the three pedestrians who were hit by the stolen van.

Prosecutor Karim Khalil KC told Nottingham Crown Court today (Tuesday) that the families of the three people who died had been consulted before the the prosecution decided to accept the pleas.

Calocane’s barrister Peter Joyce KC told a previous hearing the defendant “does not dispute the physical facts of the prosecution’s case” but was suffering from “extreme” mental illness at the time of the incident. The decision to accept the pleas entered by Calocane in November means he will not face trial for murder.

He now faces a sentencing hearing expected to last for around two days.