Fathers of Nottingham attack victims make heartbreaking speeches

Fathers of Nottingham attack victims at vigil, Barnaby Webber smiling

The grieving fathers of the Nottingham attack victims attended a vigil last night and made heartbreaking speeches.

Students Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber, both 19, and school site manager Ian Coates lost their lives in the attack on Tuesday morning (June 13). A 31-year-old man was arrested after the attack.

In the early hours of June 13, Grace and Barnaby – Nottingham University students – were walking home from a night out. They were targeted and killed in the area of Ilkeston Road.

Shortly after, police believe the same suspect stabbed Ian to death and stole his van.

Grace’s grieivng family have paid a tribute at the vigil (Credit: Nottingham Police)

Nottingham attack

Then, a short time after, the suspect allegedly drove into three people in Milton Street in the centre. The three people survived but suffered injuries. Two had minor injuries while one man ended up in a critical condition in hospital.

On Wednesday evening (June 14), the grieving families of Grace and Barnaby attended a vigil. The fathers of Barnaby and Grace paid tribute to their children and expressed their heartbreak over their tragic deaths.

Barnaby’s emotional father said: “I’ve lost my baby boy and I can’t even comprehend how I’m going to deal with it. Myself and Emma and Charlie and his family and friends.

Nottingham attack victim Barnaby Webber smiling in photo
Barnaby, 19, was tragically killed in the attack (Credit: Nottingham Police)

Nottingham vigil

“I know Barnaby would be super touched by everyone that’s here. And he loved it, he loved it here. He couldn’t wait to come back. It drove me mad, but his heart will be with you guys forever.”

I’ve lost my baby boy and I can’t even comprehend how I’m going to deal with it.

Grace’s father said at the vigil: “Everyone here, I really really want to thank you for your support and taking the time to be here. All of you guys everywhere that I see, a sea of people. Such a lovely sign of the university and the bond you have.

Fathers of Nottingham attack victims at vigil
The fathers of Grace and Barnaby spoke at a vigil on Wednesday (Credit: BBC News)

“Grace was also like Barnaby, she loved coming up to Nottingham.” Tearing up, he told those in attendance: “Look after each other.”

The vice-chancellor of Nottingham University Shearer West also spoke at the vigil. She said: “It’s hard to find the words to express the shock and the grief felt across our institution at the senseless loss of two talented students who have had their bright futures brutally curtailed by a seemingly random act of violence.”

Ian Coates smiling in photo
Ian Coates was tragically killed in the attack (Credit: Huntingdon Academy)

On Wednesday, the brother of the third victim Ian Coates paid a heartbreaking tribute. He also took the time to pay tribute to Grace and Barnaby.

Read more: All we know about man held on suspicion of Nottingham murders as he ‘refuses to answer’ police questions

Phil Coates tweeted: “I can’t sleep, trying to understand what’s happened. Ian had led a good life but Grace and Barnaby were just starting out. Just absolutely numb at the moment.”

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