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Starmer Demands Investigation Into Failures of Police and Mental Health Systems in Nottingham Killings

Emma Webber, mother of one of the Nottingham victims, made a strong statement by saying the police have ‘blood on their hands.’ Additionally, Sir Keir Starmer expressed support for a public inquiry.

Sir Keir, the Labour leader, has called for a public inquiry to probe potential errors made by the police and other parties, which may have led to the Nottingham attacks in June 2023. The incident resulted in the deaths of three individuals and injured several others.

Valdo Calocane admitted to three counts of manslaughter by diminished responsibility and was given an indefinite hospital order following the Nottingham attacks in June 2023.
He was sentenced on Thursday.

Calocane stabbed Nottingham University student Barnaby Webber and his friend Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, and then proceeded to attack school caretaker Ian Coates, 65. After that, he stole Mr. Coates’s van and attempted to run over three other people.

Emma Webber, the mother of Barnaby Webber, made the bold statement that Assistant Chief Constable Rob Griffin of the Nottinghamshire Police, who admitted failures in arresting Calocane, had blood on his hands. She met with Sir Keir—who is a former director of public prosecutions—and subsequently, he advocated for a public inquiry on Friday.

Call for Inquiry

Sir Keir stated the need for an external, independent investigation to analyze the potential points of intervention that could have prevented the tragic incident. He emphasized that the affected families are owed at least this. Julian Hendy, founder of the Hundred Families charity, which supports families bereaved by individuals with mental health problems, welcomed Sir Keir’s call for a public inquiry. He remarked that there are still many unanswered questions about the case, necessitating an investigation into who knew what, and when.

Other pertinent details added by Mr. Hendy raise questions about the inconsistent and puzzling aspects of Calocane’s actions leading up to the tragic events in June 2023.

It was disclosed that Calocane had assaulted a police officer in August 2022, and despite other incidents where he attacked individuals, he was not charged prior to that confrontation. There is also concern regarding the dropping of murder charges and the decision to give him a hospital order instead of a life sentence. Ms. Webber labeled this as a “trial by doctors,” asserting that the families had been “railroaded” into accepting the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision.

Attorney General Victoria Prentis confirmed the receipt of a referral arguing the sentence administered was unduly lenient and thus under review at her office.

Dr. Sanjoy Kumar, father of Grace O’Malley-Kumar, and Emma Webber, mother of Barnaby Webber, revealed concerns and expressed their sentiments outside Nottingham Crown Court. They shared their disappointment and confusion about the manslaughter charges and the lack of indication that manslaughter was a possibility earlier in the legal process.

These and other factors contribute to the need for a thorough public inquiry to ensure all relevant details are scrutinized in the aftermath of this tragic event. The families of the victims deserve answers and justice for their losses.

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