• Wednesday, April 24, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Policemen face misconduct charges in Grace O’Malley-Kumar stabbing case

Grace O’Malley Kumar (L) with her family.

By: Pramod Thomas

AN unnamed British policeman underwent a misconduct hearing after it emerged that he had shared details of injuries via WhatsApp following a stabbing attack on a British Indian teenager and her friend in Nottingham last year.

According to a report in The Sun newspaper on Monday (19), a misconduct hearing last month heard how the officer posted details about students Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber as well as school caretaker Ian Coates soon after they were killed during a knife attack spree by Valdo Calocane in the central England city in June 2023.

A second officer, Police Constable (PC) Matthew Gell, is said to have passed on the “distasteful” message to his wife and a friend.

“What an abhorrent way to conduct an investigation. We cannot emphasise how painful this tragedy is for all our families, and to learn that there has been internal needless voyeurism of the vicious knife attacks on our loved ones is unforgivable. We were not, at any point, made aware of this [data breach],” Barnaby’s mother Emma Webber told the newspaper.

Former victims’ commissioner Dame Vera Baird expressed her dismay, stating, “This is truly appalling.”

While PC Gell got a final written warning, the unnamed police officer was directed to undergo “extra learning”.

Grace O’Malley Kumar was a 19-year-old medical student and daughter of London-based doctors Sanjoy Kumar and Sinead O’Malley.

She was walking back to her university in Nottingham with Webber when they were attacked and killed.

On January 25, 32-year-old Calocane was sentenced to a mental health order to be detained in a high-security hospital following a hearing at Nottingham Crown Court.

The judge told Calocane it is likely he will never be released, so that he can receive treatment for paranoid schizophrenia – a mental illness that can be “mitigated” with treatment but not cured.

He noted that he was satisfied that Calocane would not have committed his “appalling” crimes had he not been suffering from the illness.

However, the victims’ families have since met British prime minister Rishi Sunak about the seemingly lenient sentencing and there are reports of a possible public inquiry.

The newspaper report said the bereaved families have been told that Sunak has not ruled out such an inquiry.

Calocane had pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility for killing the two students and school caretaker Coates.

(PTI)

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