Tuesday 16 July 2024
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Nottingham: Families of victims Grace, Barnaby and Ian, address Nottingham crowd at vigil

The families of the three people killed in tragic attacks across Nottingham have thanked the city for its love and support as a vigil was held in the city centre.

Old Market Square fell silent as thousands of people gathered to remember the three people killed in the attacks on Tuesday (June 14).

A balloon with the text Nottingham Chose Love could be seen flying at the vigil

The vigil, on Thursday evening (June 15), saw residents and civic leaders come together with families to mourn the tragic losses.

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The University of Nottingham students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, were killed in Ilkeston Road at about 4 am on Tuesday morning.

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Barnaby, from Somerset, was a talented young cricketer and was studying history at the university. His family described him as a ‘wonderful young man’.

Grace, a first-year medical student, was a talented hockey player who was described as a ‘popular member’ of the England U16 and U18 squads. She also played for the university team.

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Nottinghamshire Police later found Ian Coates, 65, fatally stabbed in Magdala Road, Mapperley Park.

The force said it believes his van was stolen by the assailant and used to run over three people on Milton Street.

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Ian, who was the site manager for the LEAD Academy Trust and Huntingdon Academy, was described by his son as a ‘great father’ and a ‘massive football fan’.

He was due to retire in a few months.

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One of the people struck by the van in Milton Street remains in a critical condition in hospital. The other two people are believed to have suffered minor injuries.

The family of Grace OMalley Kumar all spoke to the crowd at the vigil on Thursday
The family of Grace O’Malley-Kumar all spoke to the crowd at the vigil on Thursday


A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and the police were today granted an extra 36 hours to question him while investigations continue.

Following the tragic events, the vigil organised by Nottingham City Council saw thousands of people in attendance to mourn the deaths and come to terms with what had happened.


The family of Barnaby Webber were reduced to tears as they spoke at the Nottingham vigil on Thursday
The family of Barnaby Webber were reduced to tears as they spoke at the Nottingham vigil on Thursday


Home Secretary Suella Braverman, dressed in all black, was also pictured earlier in the day laying flowers outside the Council House with Nottinghamshire’s police and crime commissioner Caroline Henry (Con).

The family of Ian Coates spoke to the Old Market Square vigil and paid tribute to the school site manager
The family of Ian Coates spoke to the Old Market Square vigil and paid tribute to the school site manager

The vigil began at 5.30pm with speeches from civic leaders including Councillor David Mellen (Lab), the leader of Nottingham City Council, and Professor Shearer West, the vice-chancellor of the University of Nottingham.

Nottingham North MP Alex Norris addressign the vigil in Old Market Square on Thursday
Nottingham North MP Alex Norris addressign the vigil in Old Market Square on Thursday

Prof West said: “All three of these lives were cut short in the most unimaginable way on Tuesday morning.

“Their well-earned retirement plans and bright futures brutally curtailed by a seemingly random act of violence.

Councillor David Mellen leader of Nottingham City Council addressing the vigil
Councillor David Mellen, leader of Nottingham City Council, addressing the vigil

“At the university, we held our own vigil yesterday with Barney and Grace’s families to remember them and mourn their loss.

“I was overwhelmed by the love and support that was offered to the families by more than 2,000 students and staff who gathered together as a community.”

Flowers were laid outside the Council House prior to the vigil on Thursday
Flowers were laid outside the Council House prior to the vigil on Thursday

Cllr Mellen added: “The attack on you is an attack on us all.”

Speeches were also made by Nottingham North’s Labour MP Alex Norris, crime commissioner Mrs Henry, and Ross Middleton, the head teacher at Huntingdon Academy.

Paying tribute to Ian – his school’s site manager – Mr Middleton said he was “full of fun with a mischievous glint in his eye” and put huge effort into students’ welfare.

Thousands of people attended the vigil on Thursday

A minute’s silence was held at 6pm, led by Cllr Mellen, before faith leaders from across the city and county addressed the crowd.

The families of all three people killed in the attacks then stood to speak to the city, paid tribute to their loved ones and thanked Nottingham for its love and support.

James Coates, the son of Ian, stood alongside his family and said: “We want to offer our condolences and support to the families of Grace and Barnaby.


“Anything they need from us, we’re happy to help. I also want to thank everybody who has given kind words over social media, in the news and in person.

“It feels like he touched a lot of hearts over the years, a lot more than we knew and assumed he had. It’s been really nice and heartwarming to see messages and people coming out to say how he was with them when they were younger.

“We are still dealing with what’s happened, we still haven’t taken it all in.

“Dad was an avid fisherman, he loved his family and he also loved his Forest. You reds.”

Dr Sanjoy Kumar, the father of Grace O’Malley-Kumar, stood on the stage with his wife Sinead O’Malley and their son, who were all in tears and spoke to the crowd about their grief.

Dr Kumar said: “I really thank each and every one of you who has taken the time, it really means so much.

“We were four and we are now three. The same goes for Barnaby’s family – they were also four and are now three.

“I’m trying to be as strong as I can. There are people in hospital as well who were injured in this attack, and as families, our thoughts are with them as well.

“I’d like to thank the uniformed services who, as always, do a great job. Thank you to the police, to the emergency services who did so much.

“Grace did love Nottingham, when I asked her to come home last week, she said ‘a few more seshes’.

“She loved going out in your town, she adored her friends and family. This is one brilliant town and a university she went to. She had so many good friends.”

Emma and David Webber, the parents of Barnaby, also stood on stage with their youngest son Charlie – Barnaby’s younger brother – to thank the crowd and pay tribute.

Emma said: “Barnaby is more than a victim of a senseless murder. He loved pesto pasta but he hated cottage pie. He was obsessed with aeroplanes and still carried the dream of being a pilot in the RAF one day.

“I’m not sure how a history degree was part of that plan, perhaps he wanted to fly spitfires.

“Nottingham – he really loved you. We couldn’t get him home half the time.”

She added: “Today we stand here and we feel your love, we’re united in grief and shock and disbelief.

“One day we will smile again, but it will take time. It’s not my place to talk about the other victims – Ian and Grace – but we as a family are really grieving for you as well.

“The monstrous individual who has shattered our lives will not define us.”

Prior to the families speaking, Nottingham North MP Mr Norris said “We must all be there” for the families of the victims.

Crime commissioner Mrs Henry thanked police and said there is “no place for hate in the healing process”.

It’s as officers say they are “keeping an open mind” over the motive and say they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the attacks.

Counter-terrorism police are working alongside Nottinghamshire Police on the investigation – although officers were keen to stress this is routine while they continue to try to establish a motive.

Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: “The families of all of the victims are being supported by specially trained officers.

“Officers have also carried out a number of searches at addresses across the city to gather evidence, but no further arrests have been made.

“A dedicated team of detectives is investigating the circumstances surrounding these incidents and will continue to gather evidence over the coming days.”

@westbridgfordwirenews Thousands of people gather in Nottingham’s Old Market Square to mourn the loss of Grace, Barnaby and Ian who were killed earlier this week . #nottinghamtogether #nottinghamattacks #uniofnottingham #universityofnottingham #nottinghamshire #notts #westbridgford #tiktokuk ♬ original sound – West Bridgford Wire News

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