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Police: ACC Rob Griffin reflects on ‘the most dreadful event we’ve experienced in Nottinghamshire’

The horrific events of 13 June 2023, in which three people were tragically killed and three others seriously injured, sent shockwaves throughout Nottinghamshire.

ACC Rob Griffin reflects on “the most dreadful event we’ve experienced in Nottinghamshire”.

He said:

‘June 13, 2023, is a day that the people of Nottinghamshire, in fact, probably the people of the U.K. and the world will never forget. We in policing often use words to describe those sorts of events as appalling or abhorrent, harrowing and shocking and frankly, it was all of those.

But perhaps more than that, too. In fact, I would say it was probably the most dreadful event that we’ve experienced in Nottinghamshire. We were called to an incident where a man was known to have stabbed two young people. What we know, of course, is that dreadful incident took the lives of two young students, Barnaby and Grace, both 19 years old.

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They’d had a good night. They were really close friends, they’d been with other friends and they were walking home and little did they know that this defendant had, at some point that evening decided that he was going to carry out these terrible attacks. He emerged from the alleyway and followed them for a short distance before launching an attack on Barnaby.

Grace, in what can only be described as an incredible act of bravery, tried to step in to protect Barnaby and the defendant turned on Grace and began stabbing repeatedly at Grace. And then he returned to Barnaby and continued to attack him. And tragically both Barnaby and Grace lost their lives.

Ian, who was a caretaker, 65 years old, driving to work, was confronted by the defendant. The defendant managed to bring the vehicle to a stop and then again, without warning, launched an attack on Ian and as a result of that attack, Ian lost his life. The defendant jumped into Ian’s van and he drove it away and he made his way down then into the city.

Wayne was crossing over the road and the defendant completely changed his direction of travel, careering across the carriageways and onto the opposite side of the road, hitting Wayne from behind. It’s a miracle that he survived. The defendant drove at two other pedestrians, and again, they had their backs to the vehicle.

By some miracle, both survived. When the first police officers arrived on Ilkeston Road, which was the scene of the attacks of Barnaby and Grace, we were there within minutes of that attack taking place and our officers were immediately attempting to administer first aid. They were supported then by paramedic colleagues, but were unable to save either Barnaby or Grace’s life.

But at that point we weren’t really sure what had happened. We didn’t know whether they’d been attacked by somebody that they knew or whether this was a robbery or whether this was another type of random attack. But immediately, as we always would, went straight into response and investigation mode and started to gather evidence really quickly and start to piece together what we thought might have happened.

And while we were still doing that, the next call we actually took was from the events on Milton street not very long after and at 5:35 am, when the defendant was arrested in the vehicle and it was apparent at that point that he met the description of the man seen attacking Barnaby and Grace – and that he had knives in his possession, that we were able to establish that these incidents were connected.

There was an outpouring of grief and an outpouring of emotion, not just from the people who live and work in the city of Nottingham but from all communities across Nottinghamshire and the Midlands and actually the whole of the country. It was something that was felt by everybody. And I know I speak on behalf of all of my colleagues in Nottinghamshire Police when I say this, that the events of June 13 will never be forgotten by the people of Nottinghamshire and all those people that have been affected and the victims in this case will forever last in our memories.’

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