Mother of Nottingham victim has been sent letter from killer's family (2024)

The mother of Nottingham stab victim Barnaby Webber says she has been sent a letter from the family of triple-killer Valdo Calocane, but still hasn't opened it a year on from the tragedy.

The 19-year-old was the first victim of Calocane who had been laying in wait down a dark alley when he leapt out on the University of Nottingham student.

The paranoid schizophrenic then turned on his friend to stab Grace O'Malley Kumar, 19, to death as she bravely came to Barnaby's aid.

Calocane went on to murder Ian Coates, 65, before stealing his van and using it to mow down three pedestrians. They survived.

He was given an indefinite hospital order for the manslaughter of the trio in Nottingham on June 13 last year.

In a joint statement, relatives of university students Barnaby, Grace, and Ian Coates, said they would take time on Thursday to remember 'the souls of the three vibrant, caring, hard-working and much loved family members who are no longer here'.

Emma Webber, the mother of Nottingham stab victim Barnaby Webber, saysshe still can't face scattering her son's ashes

Barnaby pictured with his mother Emma and younger brother Charlie

The 19-year-old was the first victim of triple-killer Valdo Calocane who had been laying in wait down a dark alley when he leapt out on the University of Nottingham student

Calocane's victims' families wanted him put on trial for murder but in January this year Nottingham Crown Court accepted his guilty plea to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

On the eve of the anniversary of the killings, Mrs Webber said she can't face to read the letter sent by Calocane's parents and his brother but understands within it they don't take responsibility for his actions, instead blaming the authorities and the agency failings.

Read More Families of the victims of knife rampage make vow to ensure Valdo Calocane remains locked up - as judges review his sentence

'I wouldn't trust myself to be near them at the moment,' she told The Mirror. 'I don't want to look into the faces of the people that brought this monster into the world. That sounds awful but it's what I think.'

The grief-stricken mother has been through 'hell' in the last year with Barnaby's murder 'blowing' the family apart.

Mrs Webber opened up about having therapy and taking medication for her own mental health after one day she 'didn't want to wake up' and 'thought about dying'.

She says without the help she doesn't think she would be able to survive.

Mrs Webber says she and Barnaby's father David, and his brother Charlie will never be the same again.

A new tattoo in her son's memory now sits on her wrist with the word 'Barnaby' written above two love hearts with the initials 'B' and 'W' inside. Underneath are the Roman numerals LIII in a nod to his number 53 cricket shirt.

Barnaby Webber, then aged 18, with his mother Emma and father David on a family holiday in Mallorca

Barnaby and his close friend Grace were stabbed to deathas they walked back to their halls after a night out in the early hours of June 13

Mrs Webber gives a statement alongside relatives of the victims in July last year. Also pictured is Grace O'Malley-Kumar's father, Dr Sanjoy Kumar, (left) and Ian Coates' son, James (middle)

She heartbreakingly revealed that her last ever message to her eldest son was a poignant one, asking him when he was coming home and how the family were looking forward to having him back.

His reply was typical for a teenager enjoying university life as he said he would be home Thursday or Friday 'depending on my hangover'.

The exchange between mother and son is still on her phone, although the pain is too much for her to be able to look at it.

Read More Barnaby Webber's mother reveals how 'disrespectful' police WhatsApp messages about her son's injuries made her feel 'physically sick'

Barnaby had driven from his home in Taunton, in Somerset, to Nottingham to play cricket, just days before he was killed.

On the morning he was murdered Barnaby and Grace are seen on CCTV walking home along the street after spending a night out together.

Although always described as friends, Mrs Webber thinks they were together as she knew she meant a huge amount to him.

He first mentioned Grace to his mother at Christmas in 2022 where he described her as his best friend and that she would 'love her'.

She says from then she knew he had feelings for her and there was 'clearly something special about Grace'.

Mrs Webber was on a weekend away in Cornwall with David when she found out he had been killed.

She remembers screaming in a pub car park before then having to travel to Torquay and break the news to Barnaby's brother.

She heartbreakingly revealed that her last ever message to her eldest son was a poignant one, asking him when he was coming home and how the family were looking forward to having him back

Grace O'Malley Kumar was killed as she tried to save Barnaby's life. Mrs Webber believes the pair were an item as the way her son had spoken about her showed there was 'clearly something special about her'

She told MailOnline in January:'We pulled over into a pub car park which is when I heard the words 'deceased', 'driving licence' and 'Barnaby'.

'Everything started to go black. I can't remember if I was sick, but I got out of the car, fell to my knees on the gravel and screamed.

Read More Mother of Nottingham attack victim calls for law overhaul as review finds prosecutors were right to accept killer Valdo Calocane's manslaughter pleas

'Dave was banging and banging the dashboard. I heard the police officer say, 'You need to go to your wife and make sure she's ok.' After that everything went still and cold. I was almost devoid of feeling. I didn't even know how to breathe.'

Mrs Webber told The Mirror 'the most awful thing to do was seeing Barney in the hospital'.

'I chose to do that,' she says. 'We didn't let Charlie come. It was myself, Dave and Barney's three surviving godparents.

'I can't talk any more about it. You can only imagine. That's part of the trauma I'm trying to deal with. Suffice to say it was horrific.'

In January, Mrs Webber told MailOnline how it was only starting to kick in that her beloved son would never be coming home again.

'But very slowly because sometimes I let myself pretend he's just at university,' she says. 'In the summer, I used to pretend he was just out playing cricket because it gave my brain a rest for a moment. The pain was so physical and visceral.

'Barney should have been 20 on January 11. I have so much anger now that he's not here — that his future has been stolen so senselessly, so cruelly.

'That monster changed our world forever. The fury I feel for him...'

Barnaby's parents will travel up to Nottingham tomorrow with Charlie and the Kumar and Coates families where a vigil will be held at the university in memory of victims.

Calocane lay in wait in a dark alley before leaping out at Barnaby and Grace

In a joint statement, the bereaved relatives restated that they believed Calocane is a murderer, saying over-reliance on medical experts' opinions and 'archaic' diminished responsibility laws meant the killer was not punished for his 'heinous' acts.

The family members said: 'On the 13th June 2023 our lives changed forever.

'The brutal, calculated and unprovoked attack by Valdo Calocane took the lives of three innocent, decent and kind human beings: Barney Webber, Grace O'Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates. Three people who made a difference to this world and actively contributed to our society.

Read More Families of Nottingham stabbing victims Grace O'Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber recall where they were when they heard their children had died

'This individual carefully planned his assault, stockpiled his weapons in advance and chose his victims.

'He knew what he was doing, he knew it was wrong, but he did it anyway. And therefore, he is a murderer.

'It is because of a weak investigation and prosecution, over reliance upon doctors' evidence and archaic out-of-date laws that Calocane receives no punishment for his heinous acts.'

They added: 'Today we will take time and pause to reflect upon that tragic day and remember the souls of the three vibrant, caring, hard-working and much-loved family members who are no longer here.

'Today is not the day for fight.

'But tomorrow is. We continue in our relentless pursuit for appropriate justice, individual and organisational accountability, lasting change to our society and laws that will provide improved protection and public safety, appropriate punishment for crimes and improved support for victims and their families.

'As three families we stand united by grief and loss, but fuelled by our anger at the scale of failings, poor policing, weak prosecution, dereliction of duty in medical care and a series of catastrophic missed opportunities that would, and should have stopped these entirely preventable deaths.'

The families' statement continued: 'We have endured much over the past 12 painful and agonising months in our fight for answers and justice.

'Up until this point we have worked tirelessly as families and now with our legal representatives, we will take our fight for accountability to the next level.

'With this support we will ensure the failures of Leicester Police, Nottingham Police and Nottingham Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust - amongst others - are exposed and accounted for.

'No stone will be left unturned as we continue on our quest for answers, for however long this may take.'

Mother of Nottingham victim has been sent letter from killer's family (2024)
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