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Family of slain British Indian teen slams UK cops for 'mismanagement'

IANS | February 27, 2024 09:41 AM

LONDON: Slamming the police for 'mismanagement', families of the victims of Nottingham murders, which included an Indian-origin student, said they will continue to raise 'serious concerns' about the case and 'will not be silenced'.

British-Indian Grace O’Malley-Kumar, fellow student Barnaby Webber, both aged 19, and 65-year-old school caretaker Ian Coates were stabbed to death by Valdo Calocane near the University of Nottingham on June 13, 2023.

In a joint statement, the families also accused the Nottinghamshire Police of 'gagging' the media in an attempt to stop details of case failings being made public, the Shropshire Star newspaper reported on Monday.

Calocane, 32, was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order last month after prosecutors accepted his plea of guilty to manslaughter based on diminished responsibility with psychiatrists saying that he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

The victims' families -- who had hoped for a murder trial -- reacted with shock and anger to the verdict, which said that Calocane would not face a murder trial due to 'mental illness'.

Further, they criticised the police after it emerged during a misconduct hearing that they shared details about the murder victims on a WhatsApp group.

“We will not be silenced. This behaviour must be addressed and urgent changes made as this must not happen again to other innocent families, ” the families said in the statement released on Monday.

They said their 'lengthy and detailed statement' was sent to highlight their concerns and ongoing mismanagement by the Nottingham Police.

They also mentioned in the statement that the police force held an off-the-record press briefing last week, where they told the journalists that they could not report the information discussed.

As of now, the families are awaiting a response from the Home Secretary and have also written to Opposition leader Keir Starmer, seeking a meeting with him and his shadow ministers.

Calling for a public inquiry into the case, the families have also met Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who promised them that "we will get the answers".

Meanwhile, Attorney General Victoria Prentis KC MP said the sentence of manslaughter by diminished responsibility and attempted murder was 'unduly lenient' and will be referred to the Court of Appeal.

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