Multiple investigations into Calocane case

In January, we reported on Valdo Calocane, the Nottingham murderer, having his pleas for manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility accepted by the prosecution. We are now able to provide an update to the story, as it seems several watchdogs and government offices are just as miffed as we are regarding the mishaps of this case.

First of all, we can report that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is to be investigated over their handling of the Valdo Calocane case, including their decision to accept his manslaughter pleas and whether the CPS met its duties to consult the families before accepting the pleas. The review will be carried out by His Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate and is due to be completed by Easter.

Furthermore, On 29th January, the families met the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, in Downing Street, who reportedly told them he had not ruled out a public inquiry into the case. “What I said to them is that we will get the answers. That’s what they deserve. That’s what I’ve committed to,” Sunak told ITV’s This Morning.

The next major development comes as Leicestershire Police and Nottinghamshire Police have referred themselves to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) over how they handled previous investigations into alleged assaults committed by Valdo Calocane.

In a statement, the watchdog said: “Following the sentencing of Valdo Calocane, several incidents involving previous police contact with him have been brought to our attention, which we were unaware of.

Both Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire police have subsequently provided the watchdog with potentially damning information regarding their previous run-ins with Calocane. It has emerged that in May 2023, five weeks before his murderous spree in Nottingham, he was working in a warehouse in Kegworth, Leicestershire, where he was accused of attacking two employees. Presumably, no arrest was made.

Back in 2022, Nottinghamshire Police issued a warrant for Calocane’s arrest after he missed a court hearing over an alleged assault on a police officer. He was never arrested for that warrant, which was still outstanding at the point of his arrest in June 2023. The police were also aware that Calocane had a history of mental health problems, having been requested to support a Section 135 warrant to section the suspect under the Mental Health Act.

There’s more. As the above unfolds, Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry has now commissioned the College of Policing to carry out an independent review following the Valdo Calocane killings. The College of Policing is the independent national standards-setting body for policing, helping forces and individuals provide consistency and a better service for the public.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh, CEO of the College of Policing, said:

“The College of Policing has been asked by the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner to carry out an independent review into the policing response surrounding this case.”

“The people of Nottinghamshire will rightly want reassurance that those who should be in the criminal justice system are found and dealt with swiftly.”

Lastly, the health secretary has ordered a special review of the mental health services at the Nottinghamshire NHS trust, where Calocane was treated in the years before the attacks.

The health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), downgraded the trust to “requires improvement” after an inspection in November 2022. It will conduct the review and has been asked to present its findings in March. The CQC’s investigation will be run in tandem with an independent mental health homicide review ordered by NHS England.

To summarise, four separate investigations are being undertaken into this tragic case. It’s tragic not only because three innocent victims lost their lives in such a barbaric way but because it was clearly avoidable.

Essentially, we have a very dangerous individual, well known to police and mental health services, free to roam and terrorise the British public. This is before we even ask the pertinent question of why such an individual was allowed to come into the country in the first place.

Why was no apparent effort made to apprehend Calocane for a full year after missing his court date? Why was there no apparent communication between Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire police? Why were there so many warning signs in his mental health record which were never acted on?

The last question cannot be emphasised enough. The following information has come to light since the court hearings:

First diagnosed as psychotic in 2020, he was subsequently sectioned twice that year. He was then managed in the community by an early intervention psychosis team but frequently refused to take medication. After being sectioned again in 2021, he admitted that he had no intention of taking his medication. Indeed, eight months of unused medication were found in his apartment.

After being released, he then missed mental health appointments and was often reported as being confrontational. In January 2022, he started buying weapons as voices were telling him to harm others, psychiatrists said. In May 2022, Calocane travelled to London and attempted to hand himself into MI5, who he believed were controlling him, at their Thames House headquarters, urging them to “please arrest me.”

At the time of the Nottingham murders, Calocane was “unmedicated and out of touch with psychiatric services for almost 12 months.”

So, there were plentiful opportunities for meaningful intervention from both the police and mental health services, and they squandered every single one. It is mind-blowing how much incompetence prevails in our public services; this time, three innocent people have paid the ultimate price.

Lastly, why has no one asked the following question: if Calocane had diminished responsibility, why was he constantly released from the hospital and trusted to medicate himself? If a person has the mental capacity to live independently and to self-administer medication, surely they also have the capacity to understand murderous intent?

Calocane’s defence can’t have it both ways. A manslaughter plea is a further slap in the face of the victims and their families and would be a travesty if accepted by the prosecution.

In the meantime, we can only hope these investigations instil dramatic reforms in our criminal justice system, policing and health services and, where appropriate, hold the relevant people accountable. The loved ones of Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates deserve real justice, not another “Don’t Look Back In Anger” charade.

Scroll to Top