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Murder charges after two students and school caretaker fatally stabbed in street

Valdo Calocane, 31, is due to appear at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.

Josh Payne
Friday 16 June 2023 16:30 BST
Police forensics officers on Ilkeston Road, Nottingham (PA)
Police forensics officers on Ilkeston Road, Nottingham (PA) (PA Wire)

A former university student has been charged with three counts of murder after two talented sportspeople and a school caretaker were found stabbed to death in Nottingham streets.

Valdo Calocane, 31, is also accused of three counts of attempted murder after a van was allegedly driven at pedestrians in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Nottinghamshire Police said.

First-year University of Nottingham students Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber, both 19, were found fatally knifed on Ilkeston Road at around 4am.

Caretaker Ian Coates, 65, was then found dead in Magdala Road after his van was allegedly stolen.

Calocane is accused of using the van to drive at pedestrians in Milton Street – an incident which resulted in one person being taken to hospital in a critical condition and two others suffering minor injuries.

The family of history student Mr Webber visited the scene of where he was stabbed to death on Friday.

Mr Webber’s family said they laid flowers at the spot in Ilkeston Road because “we owe it to both Barnaby and Grace to let them know we are here”.

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

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the driver of a marked police car had sight of the van for “less than a minute” before it collided with the pedestrians.

In a short statement, a spokesman for the IOPC said: “We have viewed dashcam footage from the police car and can confirm the officer, in a single-crewed vehicle en route to a linked incident, had sight of the van for less than a minute before the collision in the South Sherwood Street area.

“The officer immediately stopped to provide first aid.

“We will be contacting the two people injured in the collision to wish them a speedy recovery and advise them that we have decided to investigate this specific police interaction.

“Our investigation will consider whether the actions of the van driver were influenced by the police car’s presence shortly before he collided with the two pedestrians.”

In a statement issued after Calocane was charged, Chief Constable Kate Meynell, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “These charges are a significant development and arise as a result of our thorough investigation into these horrific incidents that occurred in our city.

“Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of all those affected by these attacks, and we will continue to provide support and reassurance.”

She added: “This has been an incredibly sad time for our city and county, and we stand united with our communities as we come to terms with the effects of what has happened

“We are keenly aware of the deep emotion being felt surrounding these tragic events and the high level of interest, not only in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire but also across the whole country.

“However, posting prejudicial information online about an active case could amount to contempt of court and, in the most serious cases, have the potential to cause the collapse of a trial.”

The defendant, of no fixed address, is due to appear at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, police said.

Police revealed the suspect is a former University of Nottingham student, but said “this is not believed to be connected with the attack”.

Ms O’Malley-Kumar, Mr Webber and Mr Coates were honoured ahead of the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Friday.

Cricketers from both England and Australia wore black armbands to “show solidarity” as they took to the field, with a moment’s silence being held before the national anthems.

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