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Nottingham killer Valdo Calocane's sentence was not 'unduly lenient', judges rule

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Published Time: 14.05.2024 - 12:40:27 Modified Time: 14.05.2024 - 12:40:27

Valdo Calocane, who has has paranoid schizophrenia, was handed an indefinite hospital order for the manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility of Grace O'Malley-Kumar, Barnaby Webber and Ian Coates, and the attempted murder of three others

Valdo Calocane, who has has paranoid schizophrenia, was handed an indefinite hospital order for the manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility of Grace O'Malley-Kumar, Barnaby Webber and Ian Coates, and the attempted murder of three others.

Tuesday 14 May 2024 10:38, UK

The sentence given to Nottingham killer Valdo Calocane was not "unduly lenient", senior judges have ruled.

Calocane, 32, was handed an indefinite hospital order for the manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility of Grace O'Malley-Kumar, Barnaby Webber and Ian Coates, and the attempted murder of three others last June.

The attacker's guilty pleas were accepted after medical evidence showed he has paranoid schizophrenia, with the judge at his sentencing saying he would be detained at a high-security hospital "very probably" for the rest of his life.

Attorney General Victoria Prentis referred the sentence to the Court of Appeal in February, arguing it was "unduly lenient".

At a hearing last week, lawyers said Calocane should instead be given a "hybrid" life sentence, where he would first be treated for his paranoid schizophrenia before serving the remainder of his jail term in prison.

However this was rejected in a ruling on Tuesday from the Lady Chief Justice Baroness Carr, Lord Justice Edis and Mr Justice Garnham at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

In a summary of the Court of Appeal's decision, the Lady Chief Justice Baroness Carr said: "It is impossible to read of the circumstances of this offending without the greatest possible sympathy for the victims of these terrible attacks, and their family and friends.

"The victim impact statements paint a graphic picture of the appalling effects of the offender's conduct.

"Had the offender not suffered the mental condition that he did, the sentencing judge would doubtless have been considering a whole life term.

"But neither the judge nor this court can ignore the medical evidence as to the offender's condition which led to these dreadful events or the threat to public safety which the offender continues to pose."


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Calocane was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court in January for the fatal stabbings of 19-year-old students Mr Webber and Ms O'Malley-Kumar and 65-year-old school caretaker Mr Coates in the early hours of 13 June last year.

After killing Mr Coates, Calocane stole his van and hit three pedestrians before being arrested.

The victims' families criticised Calocane's sentence, with Mr Webber's mother Emma saying in January that "true justice has not been served".

Mr Coates' son James said the killer had "got away with murder".

The judges at the Court of Appeal could not examine or change the offences for which Calocane was sentenced and could not look at any new evidence related to the case.

Instead, they could only assess whether the sentence was unduly lenient based on the evidence before the sentencing judge at the time.

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