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Mothers of stabbing victims ‘have lost faith in justice’

The mothers of two teenage students stabbed to death in Nottingham have criticised the police and Crown Prosecution Service, saying they have “lost faith in the justice system”.

Valdo Calocane stabbed 19-year-old students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, and school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, to death with a dagger in the early hours of 13 June last year.

Calocane, 32, was handed a hospital order for manslaughter by diminished responsibility after Nottingham Crown Court heard he had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Speaking to The Times newspaper, Irish-born London-based consultant Dr Sinead O’Malley-Kumar, 54, and Emma Webber, 51, said they felt “foolish” for thinking they would see justice properly served and suggested any evidence given to the authorities that “did not fit their narrative” was dismissed.

Ms Webber said: “I feel like it’s a statistic. A cheaper, easier win.

“I know it’s contentious to say it. However, I’ve lost my precious son so I feel entitled to have that opinion.”

Ms O’Malley-Kumar said: “Grace is gone. Barney is gone. We’ve got nothing else to fight for.

“All we can do is have no regrets that we have done our best to get the answers we want. And we’re going to get justice for our children.”

They said it was often too difficult to look at photographs of their children, and hard to see their friends because of their “overwhelming” pain.

The Attorney General ordered an independent review of the CPS’s handling of the case, after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised victims’ families that “we will get the answers”.

But the women and their families said they now wanted a public inquiry to fully examine any prior failings by the NHS and police with Calocane, and the decision-making process in the justice system.

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