Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry to seek reassurance wanted people will be before courts quickly after concerns raised about Nottingham triple-killer Valdo Calocane’s outstanding warrant for assaulting police officer
Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner says wanted people must appear in court as quickly as possible, following the case of Valdo Calocane.
Calocane, who stabbed students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, and school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, to death in the early hours of June 13 last year, was yesterday (January 25) sentenced to an indefinite hospital order for three counts of manslaughter by diminished responsibility and three counts of attempted murder due to his paranoid schizophrenia.
At the time of the Nottingham city centre attacks – in which the knifeman also stole Mr Coates van and hit three pedestrians including Wayne Birkett, of Newark - Calocane had an outstanding warrant due to a previous assault of a police officer.
In a statement released after the sentencing at Nottingham Crown Court, Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “My deepest sympathies are with the families of those killed in this most tragic incident and I understand that they, and the public, have some concerns around Valdo Calocane’s outstanding warrant at the time of the attack.
“Clearly, no one could have foreseen the tragedy that happened, but the people of Nottinghamshire will rightly want reassurance that those who should be in the criminal justice system are found and dealt with swiftly.
“I meet regularly with Nottinghamshire Police’s Chief Constable to scrutinise the force’s performance on behalf of the public and I am very confident the force delivers a good service overall to the people of Nottinghamshire, however there is always room for improvement.
“I will now be seeking further reassurance over the situation with outstanding warrants across Nottinghamshire to ensure wanted individuals appear before the courts as quickly as possible.”
Nottinghamshire Police released a full timeline of its contact with Calocane prior to the attacks.
It revealed officers had previously engaged with the defendant, largely while supporting colleagues in the NHS on a number of occasions.
Police helped transport Calocane to Highbury Hospital for treatment because he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act, an on each occasion, he was released by mental health services and his mental health managed by them within the community.
In September 2021, officers were requested to support mental health services with a Section 135 warrant to section Calocane under the Mental Health Act, and they transported him to Highbury Hospital.
During this encounter he assaulted one of the police officers.
In January 2022, Nottinghamshire Police were called to an incident where Calocane is alleged to have assaulted a flat mate. The force said officers attend this incident, but because police action was not supported, did not arrest the defendant on this occasion.
However, the resultant mental health referral did result in him being detained once again in a mental health establishment.
In August 2022, he was reported for summons and was due to attend court on September 22, 2022 for the assault on an officer.
He failed to appear on that occasion and a warrant for his arrest was issued in September 2022. He was never arrested for that warrant which was still outstanding at the point of his arrest in June 2023, when he brutally killed three people and seriously injured three others on the streets of Nottingham.
After the June 2023 attacks, Nottinghamshire Police followed the Independent Office of Police Conduct’s guidance and, having shared details with them, undertook professional discussions to establish whether the referral criteria was met over not executing the warrant for his arrest.
Following advice that the criteria for referral was not met, we decided not to make a referral, but undertook an internal review of this matter ourselves.
Assistant Chief Constable Rob Griffin, who led the overall policing response to the events of June 13, said: “The devastating impact that the events of June 13 have had and continue to have for the families of those killed and those that survived these dreadful attacks are immeasurable.
“I have personally reviewed this matter and we should have done more to arrest him. In my opinion it is highly unlikely that he would have received a custodial sentence for the alleged assault.
“Of course, an arrest may have triggered a route back into mental health services, but as we have seen from his previous encounters with those services, it seems unlikely that he would have engaged in this process.
“On June 13, we acted fast and efficiently to take this dangerous offender off the streets of Nottingham.
“We referred ourselves to the IOPC after his arrest. This was because in the minutes before his arrest he was being followed by a police vehicle and ran over two pedestrians.
“This is a standard procedure when a crime occurs while a defendant is being followed by police. The IOPC investigated this matter and said we followed all relevant guidelines.
“This was one of the darkest days in our city’s history and our officers will continue to support all those families affected by this horrific crime.”