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Attorney General orders independent review into CPS decision in Nottingham case

The Attorney General has ordered an independent review of the Crown Prosecution Service’s handling of the Nottingham stabbing case, as Rishi Sunak promised victims’ families that “we will get the answers”.

The inspection announced by Victoria Prentis on Tuesday will look into the CPS’s decision to accept triple killer Valdo Calocane’s guilty pleas to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility and whether it sufficiently consulted with the victims’ families.

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

Valdo Calocane at Nottingham Crown Court thumbnail
Valdo Calocane at Nottingham Crown Court thumbnail

Last week, the killer was given a hospital order for manslaughter by diminished responsibility after the city’s crown court heard he had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Mr Webber’s family described the hospital order as a “huge insult” and called for a public inquiry into the case.

Ms Prentis said she ordered the urgent CPS review “so we can properly investigate the concerns raised by the families”.

The Prime Minister said independent investigations have been set up into Nottingham institutions’ role in alleged missed opportunities to stop Calocane before he stabbed three people to death.

An inquiry could still be carried out, Mr Sunak said, but only if deemed necessary once the probes have concluded.

It has emerged that police failed to arrest Calocane for allegedly attacking two people weeks before the stabbings.

A special review has also been ordered into the mental health trust that treated him before the killings.

In an interview with ITV’s This Morning on Tuesday, a day after a meeting with the victims’ relatives in Downing Street, Mr Sunak said: “What they’ve expressed to me are a bunch of questions about what’s happened that they have.

“How did the NHS operate? Was mental health properly checked? How was the police investigation conducted? How was the Crown Prosecution Service operating and interacting with them? I think those are all perfectly reasonable questions.

“What I said to them is that we will get the answers. That’s what they deserve. That’s what I’ve committed to.

“We’ve set up investigations, independent ones, into all those areas I mentioned. The NHS, the Crown Prosecution Service, the police forces.

“So, they’re all going to be looked at independently so we can get those answers. That’s going to happen promptly and thoroughly and effectively, as quickly as possible.

“Once we hear back from that, then we can sit down with them and decide if there are more questions that need answering. Is the inquiry then the next logical step?”

Ms Prentis said: “The senseless deaths of Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates have horrified the country.

“While nothing will bring their loved ones back, the families understandably want to understand what happened in this case.

“That’s why I have asked the inspectorate to carry out a prompt and thorough review of CPS actions so we can properly investigate the concerns raised by the families in this devastating case.”

- Supplied by PA News.

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