British-Indian teen’s family criticizes UK police for “gagging” the media in the murder investigation

The relatives of the victims of the Nottingham killings, who included a student of Indian descent, blasted the police for “mismanagement” and said they “will not be silenced” in their ‘ serious concerns’ over the case.

On June 13, 2023, British-Indian Grace O’Malley-Kumar, 19-year-old Barnaby Webber, and 65-year-old Ian Coates, the school caretaker, were fatally stabbed by Valdo Calocane close to the University of Nottingham.

As per the Shropshire Star newspaper on Monday, the families had also accused the Nottinghamshire Police of ‘gagging’ the media in a unified statement to prevent the public from learning about case errors.

Last month, Calocane, 32, was given an indefinite hospital order after the acceptance of his guilty plea to manslaughter on the grounds of reduced responsibility. Psychiatrists said that Calocane was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

The judgment that Calocane would not face a murder trial due to “mental illness” shocked and infuriated the relatives of the victims, who had hoped for a murder trial.

They also criticized the police for sharing information about the murder victims on a WhatsApp group, which was revealed during a misconduct hearing.

“We’re not going to be quiet. The families stated in a statement issued on Monday that “this behavior must be addressed and urgent changes made as this must not happen again to other innocent families.”

They stated they submitted their “long and detailed statement” to express their worries about the Nottingham Police’s continued mishandling of their case.

The police force had an off-the-record press briefing last week and informed the media that they could not disclose the material presented, as they also noted in the statement.

The families have written to Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition, and are now expecting a response from him and his shadow ministers.

The relatives met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and made the assurance that “we will get the answers” in exchange for their calls for a public investigation into the issue.

Attorney General Victoria Prentis, KC MP, said that the attempted murder and manslaughter by diminished responsibility sentences were “unduly lenient” and that the Court of Appeal would hear the case.

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