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Nottingham Killer’s Lenient Sentence To Be Reviewed

In the early hours of June 13, 2023, three people’s lives were taken by Valdo Calocane in Nottingham. Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, were walking home after a night out in Pryzm nightclub when they were both stabbed to death by Calocane not too far from their halls of residence at the University of Nottingham. 

Shortly after, school caretaker, Ian Coates, aged 65, was about to set off for work when Calocane fatally stabbed him and then stole his van. The killer then drove recklessly, running over three more people before being stopped by the police. 

Calocane, who also goes by the name Adam Mendes, had a history of violence at the time of these horrific attacks, he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest after failing to show up at court following the assault of a police officer back in September of 2022. In November of last year, Valdo pled guilty to three counts of manslaughter and the attempted murder of the three pedestrians he injured whilst driving the stolen van. Last month, he was given his sentence - an indefinite hospital order after it was found he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the horrific crimes. 

Amidst this sentencing from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the families of the victims killed by Calocane responded by saying, “We as a devastated family have been let down by multiple agency failings and ineffectiveness,” adding they were going to continue to fight for their loved ones “to change what is going wrong in this country with our mental health care and in our policing and judicial system”. 

The families have also called for a public inquiry into the tragic events. The case has already prompted reviews into the CPS, police forces and the NHS. Nottinghamshire Police have admitted that they “should have done more to arrest” Calocane.

After the amount of backlash the sentencing received since it was announced, Attorney General, Victoria Prentis, has referred the case to the Court of Appeal in an attempt to give Calocane a harsher sentence. In the announcement, Prentis said, “Having received detailed legal advice and considered the issues raised very carefully, I have concluded that the sentence imposed against Calocane, for the offences of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility and attempted murder, was unduly lenient and will be referred to the court of appeal.” The victims' families have responded to the news of the review by stating they are “optimistic” that the review will produce a more suitable punishment and restore “some of the appropriate justice that we have been calling for.”

Calocane, 32, a former student at the University of Nottingham had gotten a train from London to Nottingham several hours before carrying out the murders. He has a history of mental health issues that have caused him to be hospitalised multiple times. His conviction of manslaughter has been heavily criticised due to the evidence showing the crimes were premeditated. The Court of Appeal has the power to increase the current sentence, but they also have the power to refuse the review.

Edited by Chloe Mansola

Image ‘Nottingham Canal Court Building’ by ClemRutter licensed by CC BY-SA 4.0

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