Nottingham killer Valdo Calocane ‘was NOT insane’ when he stabbed three to death in early morning rampage, psychiatrists claim

Nottingham killer Valdo Calocane ‘was NOT insane’ when he stabbed three to death in early morning rampage, psychiatrists claim

  • Psychiatric reports claim Valdo Calocane was ‘not insane’ when he killed three

Nottingham knife killer Valdo Calocane ‘knew what he was doing’ and was ‘not insane’ when he stabbed three people to death and attempted to kill three more during an early morning city-wide rampage, experts have claimed.

Two consultant psychiatrists submitted these opinions as evidence to his sentencing hearing – but it was ultimately decided he was a ‘paranoid schizophrenic’, meaning he dodged a murder verdict and was handed a hospital order instead.

This followed the judge also being told three psychiatrists had assessed Valdo Calocane and jointly concluded that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the offences.

The conclusions reached by the two psychiatrists who disagreed is likely to cause distress to the families of the victims, including the brother of student Grace O’Malley-Kumar, who also believes the triple-killer was ‘not schizophrenic’ during his rampage.

Grace, fellow University of Nottingham student Barnaby Webber, both 19, and school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, were all killed by Calocane, who stabbed them to death on June 13 last year.

Grace O'Malley-Kumar

Barnaby Webber

Calocane then stole stabbed Ian Coates (pictured) to death and stole his van. He mowed down three pedestrians but they all survived

Prosecutor Karim Khalil said the experts concluded the condition ‘resulted in an abnormality of mental function… and an inability to exercise full control.’

On Thursday, Mr Justice Turner said the 32-year-old would ‘very probably’ be detained in a high-security hospital for the rest of his life as he sentenced him for the ‘atrocious’ killings, as well as the attempted murder of three others.

The prosecution commissioned psychiatrist Dr Richard Latham to form a view on Calocane’s mental health after families of the victims brought concerns over the CPS having a plan to accept a plea of diminished responsibility in November, The Express reports.

Dr Latham did not personally interview the killer and his views were reached after reviewing assessments made by three psychiatrists who had. He reportedly agreed with the views.

Forensic psychiatrist Professor Nigel Blackwood also filed a report for the prosecution which mostly concurred with two psychiatric reports from the defence that Calocane’s responsibility was diminished responsibility due to schizophrenia.

But Prof Blackwood said that the killer did not have an absolute defence to murder by insanity, The Express reported. He said: ‘He retains some responsibility in that he was not insane at the time of the assaults.’

Another assessment was undertaken by Latham after backlash from the victim’s families. The assessment, completed on December 12, stated that is ‘relatively consistent evidence he knew what he was doing and that he knew he was committing crimes’.

The attorney general is considering whether the sentence should be reviewed by judges amid outrage from the victims’ families over the handling of the tragic case.

The court heard that Calocane’s ‘serious’ mental illness, which he was not taking his prescribed medication for, meant he would hear voices telling him he needed to kill people or his family would be hurt.

He is also known to have visited MI5’s London headquarters two years before the fatal attack to ask them to stop ‘controlling him’.

Calocane had previously been detained in hospital four times under mental health laws and was arrested in September 2021 for assaulting a police officer.

Three psychiatrists agreed a hospital order would be the best course of action for Calocane, who believed he was being ‘interfered with’ by ‘malign forces’, with all of them agreeing in court that the attack would not have happened had he not been in the grip of ‘severe psychosis’.

Emma Webber, mother of Barnaby Webber, making a statement alongside relatives of the victims. Also pictured is Grace O'Malley-Kumar's father, Dr Sanjoy Kumar, (left) and Ian Coates' son, James (middle)

Pedestrians Wayne Birkett, Marcin Gawronski and Sharon Miller all survived

Standing outside Nottingham Crown Court after sentencing, Barnaby’s mother Emma blasted the Crown Prosecution Service. ‘We as a devastated family have been let down by multiple agency failings and ineffectiveness,’ she said.

‘The CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) did not consult us as has been reported – instead we have been rushed, hastened and railroaded.’

Emma said the first meeting with them was on November 24.

‘We were presented with a fait accompli that the decision had been made to accept manslaughter charges,’ she said.

‘At no point during the previous five-and-a-half-months were we given any indication that this could conclude in anything other than murder.

Mr Griffin, of Nottinghamshire Police, said in a statement on Wednesday that the force ‘should have done more’ to arrest Calocane before the fatal attacks of June 13.

In August 2022, Calocane was reported for summons after assaulting a police officer and was due to attend court in September for that assault, but failed to appear and a warrant for his arrest was issued.

‘The defendant was never arrested for that warrant, which was still outstanding at the point of his arrest in June 2023,’ Mr Griffin said.

‘I have personally reviewed this matter and we should have done more to arrest him.’

Ashworth Secure Hospital, where Calocane could spend the rest of his life

A CPS spokesman told The Express: ‘When we received the first three psychiatric reports and were able to consider the impact of these on the prospect of the murder charges, we spoke with the families of the victims. This consultation was a significant factor in our decision to commission the fourth psychiatric report.

‘We again offered to meet the families to update them once we made our final decision before notifying the families.’

Victims Grace O’Mally-Kumar and Barnaby Webber will be honoured with a woodland memorial constructed near the scene where they were stabbed to death, The Mirror has reported.

University of Nottingham volunteers are working to create the space on campus, just yards from where they were attacked.

It will feature a flower-lined path and seating where friends, family and fellow students can pay their respects.

Oliver Price

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