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Rediff.com  » News » UK engg grad charged with murder of Indian-origin teen, 2 others

UK engg grad charged with murder of Indian-origin teen, 2 others

By Aditi Khanna
June 16, 2023 22:59 IST
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A 31-year-old man being questioned in police custody in relation to the fatal stabbing of three people on the streets of Nottingham, including British Indian teen Grace O'Malley Kumar, was on Friday charged with three counts of murder.

IMAGE: Police forensic officers work near a van in a cordon on the Bentinck Road following a major incident in Nottingham city centre, Nottingham, Britain, June 13, 2023. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

The Nottinghamshire police said Valdo Calocane has also been charged with three counts of attempted murder of three victims injured in the attack and will appear at Nottingham Crown Court on Saturday.

 

Valdo Amissao Mendes Calocane, a mechanical engineering graduate with dual nationality of Guinea-Bissau in West Africa and Portugal and settled status in the UK by virtue of his Portuguese citizenship, was tasered and arrested by officers on Tuesday.

The arrest came hours after Calocane is believed to have stabbed 19-year-old University of Nottingham students Grace Kumar and Barnaby Webber and then went on to kill 65-year-old Ian Coates.

The suspect is then accused of ramming into three pedestrians using Coates' stolen van, of which two are in a stable condition in hospital and a third has been discharged.

According to UK media reports, Calocane came to Britain in 2007 with his parents, originally from Guinea-Bissau -- a Portuguese-speaking country in Africa.

His father had been living and working on the island of Madeira when he was granted Portuguese citizenship in 2006 and moved to Britain with his wife and three children later, gaining settled status as European Union nationals.

Locals from the Welsh town they were based in have described the family as hard working devout Christians.

The police had revealed on Thursday that the suspect was a former student of the same university as the two teenage victims and Calocane's name appears on a list of mechanical engineering students who graduated last year. However, the police do not believe that his association with the university is connected to the killings.

At an emotional vigil in Nottingham attended by hundreds on Thursday evening, the relatives of the victims paid moving tributes and urged the people of the city not to hold any hate in their hearts.

Grace O'Malley Kumar's mother, anaesthetist Dr Sinead O'Malley originally from Dublin in Ireland, was supported by husband Dr Sanjoy Kumar and son James as she spoke in memory of her daughter.

"My beautiful baby girl, she wasn't just beautiful on the outside -- you must have seen her pictures across media -- she was so beautiful on the inside. She was a treasured and adored child," said Dr O'Malley.

"She wanted very few things in life, she wanted to be a doctor, she wanted to play hockey with her pals, she wanted to have fun, because that's what all students want. And, all they were doing was walking home, just walking home after a night out," she said, breaking down in tears.

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman also visited Nottingham to pay her respects and lay a wreath with a hand-written message which read: "In memory of those who lost their lives, those who were injured and everyone who loves them.

"We are with you and with all the people of Nottingham," the Indian-origin minister said.

The police were given additional time to question the suspect by the court and an investigation supported by counter-terror officials continues, though the attacks are not being treated as a terrorism so far.

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Aditi Khanna in London
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