‘Heroic’ Grace O’Malley-Kumar died protecting Friend from Killer

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: ‘Heroic’ Grace O’Malley-Kumar died protecting Friend from Killer

'Heroic' Grace O'Malley-Kumar died protecting Friend from Killer f

Hero student Grace O’Malley-Kumar tried to protect her friend when he was stabbed as they walked home from a night out in Nottingham.

Grace exhibited “incredible bravery” as she tried to defend Barnaby Webber from the attack by Valdo Calocane, as revealed in court.

Calocane’s pleas of manslaughter based on diminished responsibility were acknowledged in court on January 23, 2024.

Grace engaged in a struggle with Calocane before he redirected his aggression towards her.

Her family expressed pride in her courageous actions.

Addressing Calocane, Dr Sanjoy Kumar praised his daughter as a hero who shunned the opportunity to run away.

He said: “She bravely intervened. She would never leave a friend in adversity. It was not in her nature.

“She heroically and valiantly fought you. Like a hero, she put herself in harm’s way.

“But unfortunately because of the weapon you carried, she stood no chance.

“You showed yourself to be a cold, cowardly and calculating killer. You casually walked away, leaving my child lying in the street.”

The court heard that both 19-year-old University of Nottingham students were walking back to their student accommodation after a night out marking the end of term.

The tragic incident occurred just after 4:00 am on June 13, 2023, as they were fatally stabbed on Ilkeston Road.

According to prosecutor Karim Khalil KC, Barnaby suffered “repeated” stabbings with a dagger, resulting in “grave injuries” and causing him to collapse to the ground.

Grace O’Malley-Kumar displayed “incredible bravery” in an attempt to protect her friend, engaging in a struggle with Calocane and pushing him into the road.

However, the assailant ruthlessly redirected his assault towards her with uncompromising brutality.

Family members in the public gallery sobbed as Mr Khalil told the court Grace’s injuries were too severe and she collapsed as Barnaby tried to defend himself from the ground, kicking out at his attacker, before Calocane “calmly” walked away.

Her brother James said: “She was the best to me. Since everything happened, I’ve been lost without her.

“I’ve not just lost my older sister, but my best friend – someone I’d go to about everything. I was so proud, I would always speak about her.

“It’s a joy to be able to say she’s my older sister, it’s a privilege. Now my job is to do my best to make her proud.”

Calocane also repeatedly stabbed school caretaker Ian Coates to death before stealing his van.

Mr Khalil said the families of the victims had been consulted before the prosecution decided to accept the pleas entered.

However, Dr Kumar said his daughter would be disappointed with the way the case had concluded.

The 32-year-old now faces a sentencing hearing expected to last for about two days.

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