Inquest told all three victims in Nottingham knife attacks suffered chest wounds

Two of the victims, teenage students Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber, also suffered wounds to the abdomen, Nottingham’s senior coroner said.

Two university students and a school caretaker who were killed in an attack in Nottingham all suffered stab wounds to the chest, an inquest court has heard.

An inquest opening was told Ian Coates, 65, sustained fatal injuries around an hour after University of Nottingham undergraduates Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber, both 19, were stabbed while walking in Ilkeston Road.

Individual post-mortem results read out at a six-minute hearing on Friday gave the provisional cause of both students’ deaths as stab wounds to the chest and abdomen, while Mr Coates’ died from stab wounds to the chest alone.

Barnaby Webber and Grace Kumar
Barnaby Webber and Grace Kumar were killed in the Nottingham street attack (Family handout/Lucy Sheffield/Southgate Hockey Club/PA)

Senior coroner for Nottingham Mairin Casey opened the hearing at Nottingham Coroner’s Court, telling those present that Mr Coates had left home to attend his place of work when he was killed.

She told the hearing: “When any individual dies of unnatural causes, as has happened in this case, an inquest will always be opened.

“As the deaths of these three people occurred close in time on the same day and arising from a chain of events that is linked to one individual, it is right that these inquests should be opened at the same time.”

The coroner added: “The circumstances surrounding these tragic deaths are well known.

“Final post-mortem reports are awaited.

“The police investigation continues and the matter will be progressed through the criminal courts. This matter is now adjourned.”

No family members were present at the inquest opening, which also heard details of the formal identification process for each victim, which took place at the chapel of rest at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.

Valdo Calocane, 31, is charged with their murder, as well as attempting to murder three other people when a van was allegedly driven at pedestrians.

Nottingham city centre incident
Valdo Calocane is expected to enter pleas in September (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

In the days after the attacks, thousands of people attended vigils in the city in memory of the victims, where their families paid emotional tributes to them.

The family of Mr Webber, a history student from Taunton in Somerset, described their “complete devastation” at the “senseless murder of our son”, saying he was a “beautiful, brilliant, bright young man, with everything in life to look forward to”.

Ms O’Malley-Kumar’s family described her as a “truly wonderful and beautiful young lady” who would be “so dearly missed”.

The medical student, from Woodford in London, had represented Essex in cricket as a teenager and had also played for England Hockey.

Two of Mr Coates’ sons said his death had “rocked everyone’s world”, adding: “Nobody deserves this but he definitely didn’t.”

Calocane, of no fixed abode, is expected to enter pleas in September, with a provisional trial date set for January 12 2024.

At his last appearance at Nottingham Crown Court on June 20, he was remanded into custody to appear again for a plea and trial preparation hearing on September 25.

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