Grace O’Malley Kumar’s family warn ‘justice has not been done’ | UK | News

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Grace O’Malley Kumar’s family warn ‘justice has not been done’ | UK | News

University student Grace O’Malley-Kumar showed “incredible bravery” as she lost her life battling to stop a knife-wielding “monster” launching a savage attack on her friend.

The brave medical student attempted to thrust Valdo Calocane into the road to halt his unprovoked attack on fellow undergraduate Barnaby Webber as they walked home from an end of term party.

The pair, both aged just 19, were days away from finishing their first year of studies at the University of Nottingham when engineering graduate Calocane – branded “The Psycho” by fellow students – pounced on history student Barnaby with his double-edged hunting knife.

The mothers of Grace and Barnaby wept in court as the details of how Grace attempted to stop Calocane, 32, killing Barnaby were laid out.

Instead of fleeing Grace bravely tried to fight of the attacker prompting him to turn his deadly weapon on her as well. Both teenagers died from catastrophic wounds to their chests and abdomens.

Speaking after Calocane’s manslaughter pleas were acceped yesterday, Grace’s brother James, 17, said: “Grace’s last moments were in pain and that’s something that really hurts me to think about and she was a hero, that was her character.

“She tried her best to save her friend. That was how Grace lost her life in the most vulnerable manner. She would never leave a friend, never, and that was very evident from her last moments. She passed fighting.”

Karim Khalil KC, prosecuting, told Nottingham Crown Court: “The footage shows that the devastating violence of the attacks was mirrored only by the deliberate and merciless way the defendant acted.

“As the defendant stabbed Barnaby, inflicting grave injuries which caused him to fall to the floor, Grace, demonstrating incredible bravery, sought to protect her friend and fight off the killer, pushing him away and into the road.

“The defendant quickly turned his attention to her, and the two fought for over 30 seconds, during which time the defendant stabbed her repeatedly.

“He was as uncompromisingly brutal in his assault of Grace as he was in his assault of Barnaby.

“The defendant then walked to the south side of the road, where Barnaby was now lying prone to the ground. Grace, again, tried to walk towards them, but her injuries were too severe, and she collapsed.

“As the defendant continued his attack of Barnaby, Barnaby tried to defend himself, kicking from the ground at the defendant.

“The defendant then calmly walked away.”

Calocane then strode a mile and a half before encountering unsuspecting school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, whom he also fatally stabbed in the stomach.

He then stole the grandfather’s van using it to attempt to mow down three people as he raced into Nottingham city centre followed by a police patrol car.

He was finally stopped by gun-wielding police and charged with triple counts of murder and attempted murder for his rampage on June 13 last year.

Prosecutors accepted Calocane’s plea of manslaughter yesterday after three psychiatrists jointly concluded he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of his killing spree and therefore had “diminished responsibility”.

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

Heartbroken relatives slammed the decision with Grace’s father Dr Sanjoy Kumar saying: “Justice has not been done for our daughter.”

In a victim impact statement Dr Kumar praised his daughter as he unleashed his fury on Calocane, saying: “She heroically and valiantly fought you. Like a hero she put herself in harm’s way. But unfortunately because of the weapon you carried she stood no chance.

“You showed yourself to be a cold, cowardly and calculating killer. You casually walked away, leaving my child lying in the street. You deserve the harshest punishment available. A clear message must be sent out to the families in our country. They must be reassured that their children are safe… and that something like this never happens again.”

Grace’s mother Sinead O’Malley, who had sobbed as she earlier heard harrowing details of her “darling girl’s” violent death, told Colocane: “You are responsible for our ongoing pain and heartbreak.

“You are duplicitous and manipulative. You have shown no remorse. You understood right from wrong. You have violence in your soul.”

The consultant anaesthetist, who has worked in the NHS for more than 30 years, said she has been unable to return to the operating theatre since her daughter’s death.

She added: “I feel absolute desolation and unfathomable grief at her loss. My daily life is consumed with her loss and full of tears. I am dizzy with grief, I have been to the darkest corners of my mind.

“The revolting cowardice of the defendant compared to the heroism of our Gracie is incomparable.”

Reading her victim impact statement from the witness box at Nottingham Crown Court, Barnaby’s mother Emma Webber branded the killer a “monstrous individual”.

She said: “Barney didn’t lose his life on the 13th of June. It was stolen from him in the most vicious, unprovoked, senseless and evil way imaginable.

“I thought we would have decades more. I would give anything to hear that voice again.”

Her husband David described the “waves” of pain he has experienced since his eldest son’s death at the hands of the “monster”.

He said: “Your despicable, murderous actions are not reparable in this or any other lifetime. Your evil, vicious, selfish, unforgivable actions have caused damage that will never be repaired.

“I believe in karma, I hope you get all you deserve for the rest of your life.”

Grace, from Woodford in north east London, had attended £7,900-a-year Bancroft’s School and represented England hockey team at junior levels and harboured ambitions of serving as a medic in the armed forces

Barnaby, who previously attended the £7,890-a-term Taunton School in his home town in Somerset had represented his county at junior levels and still hoped for a professional career in the game.

The killer, who now uses the name Adam Mendes, pleaded guilty to manslaughter at a hearing last November and yesterday a judge was told three psychiatrists had jointly concluded he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of his killing spree and therefore had “diminished responsibility”.

But Karim Khalil, KC, prosecuting, added: “They concluded he would have ‘understood the nature’ of his actions.”

After launching his deadly rampage Calocane, who had permanent UK status due to his father’s Portuguese heritage, phoned his brother and told him: “This will be the last time I speak to you. Take the family out of the country.”

When asked if he was going to do something stupid, Calocane replied: “It is already done.”

He had previously claimed he was being controlled by MI5 and had even tried to hand himself in to their London HQ, and had been in and out of a mental hospital having been diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses three years before his killing spree.

Valdo, who was born in Guinea-Bissau in West Africa, came to the UK aged 16 with his family in 2007, having lived in Lisbon in Portugal.

Although he chose not to take A-levels, he later “studied well” and became a student at Nottingham University, graduating in June 2022 after completing a degree in mechanical engineering.

Mr Khalil said much of the “devastating” attack was captured on CCTV footage from the dash-cam of a taxi which was parked overlooking the road, and also from a mobile telephone of a neighbour.

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