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Guilty plea accepted over fatal Nottingham stabbings

Prosecutors have accepted a guilty plea from the man who carried out a stabbing attack in Nottingham last year in which three people were killed.

Prosecutor Karim Khalil KC told Nottingham Crown Court that the families of university students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, and school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, had been consulted before deciding to accept the pleas entered by Valdo Calocane, 32.

Calocane, who answered to the name Adam Mendes in court, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to the manslaughter of Mr Coates and that of Mr Webber and Ms O’Malley-Kumar.

He also admitted attempting to murder three pedestrians who were hit by a van he had stolen from Mr Coates on 13 June 2023.

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.

Calocane fatally stabbed Ms O’Malley-Kumar and Mr Webber, who were studying medicine and history at the University of Nottingham respectively, on Ilkeston Road at around 4am on 13 June.

Mr Coates was then found dead in Magdala Road around an hour later, having also been stabbed “repeatedly”.

The defendant then used Mr Coates’ van to drive at three pedestrians, Wayne Birkett, Marcin Gawronski and Sharon Miller, in Milton Street and South Sherwood Street.

They all survived the attack.

The prosecution’s decision to accept the pleas entered by Calocane in November means he will not face trial for murder.

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

Ms O’Malley-Kumar, a hockey player from Woodford in London, was described by her family as being “loved endlessly by all” and “resilient and wise beyond her years”.

Her Dublin-born mother Dr Sinéad O’Malley told a vigil earlier this year that the magnitude of the grief for her daughter reflects the magnitude of the love she and her family had for her.

Karim Khalil KC told the court this morning that three psychiatrists had assessed Calocane, concluding that despite suffering paranoid schizophrenia he would have understood the nature of his conduct in attacking three of his victims with a dagger described in court as “a double-edged fighting knife”.

The prosecutor said: “We have also consulted with the families of the deceased.

“We considered carefully representations made in the course of those consultations; we also considered the particular gravity and complexity of this case, including that which we submit are the grossly aggravating factors of the multiplicity of fatal and intended fatal offending.

“In these circumstances, the crown concluded that it was appropriate to accept the pleas to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility.

“For the avoidance of any possible doubt, it is the crown’s position that the appalling facts of this case render it to be one of the utmost seriousness.”

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