The grief-stricken brother of stabbing victim Grace O’Malley Kumar revealed he sleeps with his sister’s hockey top on his pillow after she died in a Nottingham knife rampage.
Grace, 19, was killed by attacker Valdo Calocane while heroically trying to protect her university friend Barnaby Webber just after 4am on June 13 last year.
Her teenage brother James said he has been left ‘completely lost’ without Grace, adding that he confided in his sister about everything.
‘I haven’t had my best friend to go to. I haven’t had an older sister to call. She hasn’t been there to pick up the phone to me and all I can do now is take comfort in the slightest thing – I sleep with her university hockey top on my pillow and I wear her clothes,’ he told Sky News.
Grace’s heartbroken parents said they thought her phone had just run out of battery when they tried getting in touch with her after hearing of a terrorist attack in Nottingham.
Her father Dr Sanjoy Kumar told BBC Breakfast: ‘I was at work and Sinead texted me when she first heard the news in the morning.
‘Immediately just being a dad I rang Grace’s phone. I remember I rang it at least eight times and it just rang out.’
Grace’s heartbroken parents said they thought her phone had just run out of battery when they tried getting in touch with her after hearing of a terrorist attack in Nottingham
Breaking down in tears, Grace’s mother Sinead said: ‘We thought nothing of it, maybe her phone had run out of battery’
Grace O’Malley-Kumar, a hockey player from Woodford in London, was described by her family as being ‘loved endlessly by all’ and ‘resilient and wise beyond her years’
Breaking down in tears, Grace’s mother Sinead added: ‘We thought nothing of it, maybe her phone had run out of battery. We really didn’t believe it for a moment that it could have been – it said a man and a woman and we thought these are just kids.’
During the emotional interview, Dr Kumar said: ‘The fact that I will not see her graduate, the fact that I will not see her marry, the fact that I will not see grandchildren, is brutal.’
He added: ‘She was the best. She was the glue that held the family together.’
Sinead said: ‘I miss her so much. She was my little friend, she was my pet, I’m literally dizzy with grief, and it’s the same every day.
‘She was a beautiful child. We were incredibly proud of her. She was such a great athlete, she was a cricketer, hockey player, and she had so much fun doing that. She was such a lovely girl.’
Grace’s little brother James also broke down in tears, adding: ‘She was the best to me. Since everything’s happened in June I’ve been completely lost without her. I’ve not just lost my older sister but a best friend – someone I’d go to about everything.
‘I’d call her if there were any problems I had, any concerns, she was the first person I’d go to. Because it was Grace she’d come back with the best advice.’
Calocane pleaded guilty in November to the manslaughter of his three victims but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Psychiatrists agreed Calocane was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia resulting in ‘an inability to exercise full control’.
Grace O’Malley Kumar’s father Dr Sanjoy Kumar told Good Morning Britain that he should not be ‘able to walk around in society’
Grace’s teenage brother James added that the killer had ‘ruined the rest of my life’
A judge was told three psychiatrists had assessed Valdo Calocane (pictured) and jointly concluded that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the offences
Barnaby Webber, from Taunton in Somerset, was a keen cricketer and ‘an extraordinary “ordinary” person’, his family said
School caretaker Ian Coates was stabbed to death by Calocane, who then stole his van and used it to drive at others
But Grace’s father Dr Kumar slammed the decision not to put the killer on trial for murder and said: ‘Justice has not been done.’
Grace’s brother James added: ‘Someone who has ruined families, ultimately. To be honest it has ruined the rest of my life.’
It comes after it was revealed a litany of missed chances left Calocane free to roam the city before he knifed three people to death and tried to kill three more.
The triple killer had been in and out of a mental health hospital for more than three years and a warrant was out for his arrest when his killing spree brought terror to Nottingham.
The NHS, police, university officials and even his employer missed at least eight opportunities to deal with him before he ‘brutally and mercilessly’ killed university students Barnaby and Grace.
A court heard he then ‘calmly’ walked across the city to kill school caretaker Mr Coates, 65, as he travelled to work.
Flatmates described Calocane as a ‘ticking timebomb’ and nicknamed him ‘serial killer’ due to the loner’s unstable nature.
As a court accepted his guilty plea to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility yesterday, it emerged his disturbing behaviour had seen him sectioned at least four times. Yet he was continually released into the community – where he stopped taking his medication and posed an increasing danger.
Calocane had also been wanted by police, for attacking an officer, for almost a year by the time of the killings last June.
One woman was so terrified after being followed into her university accommodation she jumped out a window to escape. She was badly injured and needed surgery, while Calocane was eventually sectioned.
Grace O’Malley Kumar’s family said they were ‘immensely proud of her bravery’ as she tried to save her friend in the attack
An undated photograph issued by Nottinghamshire Police of (from left) Grace O’Malley-Kumar, her father Dr Sanjoy Kumar, her mother Sinead and her brother James
Police previously released this CCTV image showing Calocane
Hockey team mates of victim Grace O’Malley Kumar lay flowers in her memory during a vigil at the University of Nottingham
The woman’s mother was said to be so concerned she is believed to have contacted Nottingham University about Calocane, but he was allowed to continue his mechanical engineering studies.
Another incident saw Calocane assault and then trap a flatmate in their kitchen in a row over a dirty shower. It was last night claimed the university had urged police not to charge Calocane over the matter, and he was moved out of the accommodation.
The university declined to comment on the ongoing case.
It is also understood he attacked two colleagues at the warehouse where he worked, and was banned from the premises. Calocane’s defence barrister, Peter Joyce, KC, said his client had been taken to mental health facilities by police several times due to his ‘bizarre, dangerous behaviour’, adding: ‘He ought to have been under the eye of mental health services.’
Calocane was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia three years before his rampage, which also saw him mow down three pedestrians with a van he stole from Mr Coates.
In heartbreaking victim impact statements, relatives of the three victims broke off to address the defendant directly as he sat in the dock at Nottingham Crown Court.
One of Mr Coates’s sons, James, branded Calocane a ‘selfish monster’, and told him: ‘You claim voices told you to kill people. Now listen to me – kill yourself.’
Rippled applause broke out in the court room at his words.
Dr Sanjoy Kumar, the father of victim Grace O’Malley-Kumar, along with Grace’s mother Sinead arrive at court today alongside her bother James
The parents of Barnaby Webber arrive at court
The parents of Barnaby Webber, David and Emma Webber, arriving at Nottingham Crown Court
James (centre), the brother of Grace O’Malley-Kumar, arriving at outside Nottingham Crown Court today
The family of Grace O’Malley-Kumar arriving at court where Valdo Calocane will be sentenced
The family of Barnaby Webber arriving for Calocane’s sentencing
Barnaby’s father David embraces Grace’s mother at the vigil at the University of Nottingham
Earlier, the judge had to call for a pause as prosecutor Karim Khalil, KC, struggled to contain his emotions as he outlined the severity of the attack on Grace and Barnaby. The court heard that after Calocane spotted them walking along a road, the killer took a dagger out of his bag and followed them.
Mr Khalil said the ‘devastating violence’ was captured on CCTV, and described how Grace showed ‘incredible bravery’ to try to fight Calocane off Barnaby, before he ‘turned his attention to her’.
Both collapsed on the ground before Calocane ‘calmly walked away’, the court heard. During the two-minute attack, residents were alerted by Grace’s screams.
The court heard Grace had stab wounds to 23 areas of her body, while Barnaby had been knifed in around ten areas of his body. Both died from stab wounds.
Calocane was later caught on camera trying to break in through a window at a homeless hostel, a mile-and-a-half away.
Resident Trevor Proverb, 59, told how he fended Calocane off with a ‘right-hook’ after he jumped on to the window ledge. Mr Coates was then fatally stabbed nearby – just five months short of his retirement – before his car was used to mow down Wayne Birkett, Marcin Gawronski and Sharon Miller.
Calocane was stopped in the van soon afterwards and arrested.
The sentencing hearing continues.