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“Please hold no hate”: Mother of Nottingham attacks’ victim urged thousands at vigil

A vigil was held yesterday in the city’s Market Square with thousands of people gathering, and the families of the three victims of Nottingham attacks, as well as local political and religious leaders, all spoke at the vigil.

The thousands of people also held a minute’s silence to commemorate Grace, Barnaby and Mr Coates, 65, who worked at a school.

Barnaby’s mother Emma said her cricket-loving son was “so proud” of his brother.

She told the crowd: “Please hold no hate to any race, colour, sex or religion in your heart… My beautiful boy – you have my, your dad and your brother’s heart forever.”

Mr Coates’ son: “He’s touched a lot of hearts over the years”

Mr Coates’ sons also spoke at the vigil wearing Nottingham Forest shirts with the slogan ‘RIP Dad’.

One of the sons, James, promised support to the families of Grace and Barnaby. Addressing the families, he said: “Obviously they are going through the same thing that we are, anything they need from us we’re happy to support you.”

Ian Coates

He thanked everybody for the “kind words” that have poured in about his father.

“It feels like he’s touched a lot of hearts over the years, more than what we assumed and knew that he had, so it’s been really nice and heartwarming to see the messages and people come out and talk about how he was when they were younger and how he’s helped them,” he said.

“All they were doing was walking home”, Grace’s mother said

Grace’s father, Dr Sanjoy Kumar fought back tears as he said that their family had “become three”.

Grace with her family

His wife Sinead told the crowd: “My beautiful baby girl, she wasn’t just beautiful on the outside, you must have seen her pictures, she was so beautiful on the inside. She was a treasure, an adored child.

“She wanted very few things in life, she wanted to be a doctor, she wanted to play hockey with her pals, she wanted to have fun.”

She went on: “All they were doing was walking home, were just walking home after a night-out and, like Emma Webber says, this person must face justice.

“It just is truly so unfair… Say prayers for my baby girl.”

“We must not allow fear to grip our streets”, councillor said

Local leaders also paid tribute to the three victims.

Councillor David Mellen urged those present to not allow the Nottingham attacks to make them scared.

In a short address, Mr Mellen said the deaths of Ms O’Malley-Kumar, Mr Webber and Mr Coates “shock us because they are so unusual”.

He added: “We have a city that is safe and welcoming … and we must not allow fear to grip our streets.”

“A beautiful, brilliant, bright young man”  

The families of all victims are being supported by specially trained officers, police reported.

Barnaby was a talented young cricketer who was studying history.

In a statement, his family said: “Complete devastation is not enough to describe our pain and loss at the senseless murder of our son.

“Barnaby Philip John Webber was a beautiful, brilliant, bright young man, with everything in life to look forward to. He was a talented and passionate cricketer, who was over the moon to have made selection to his university cricket team.

“At 19 he was just at the start of his journey into adulthood and was developing into a wonderful young man.

“As parents we are enormously proud of everything he achieved and all the plans he had made.

“His brother is bereft beyond belief, and at this time we ask for privacy as a family to be allowed time to process and grieve.

“We will not be making any further statements, particularly in relation to the police investigation. We are so proud to release this photograph, chosen by us as a family, of an amazing son, brother, grandson, nephew, and friend.

“Thank you for your understanding, and to everyone who has supported us in this awful journey so far.”

“A truly wonderful and beautiful young lady”

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.

Her family said: “Grace was an adored daughter and sister; she was a truly wonderful and beautiful young lady.

“Grace was not just a sister to James but his best friend. He is completely heartbroken. As parents, words cannot explain our complete and utter devastation. She will be so dearly missed.

“We were so incredibly proud of Grace’s achievements and what a truly lovely person she was. She was resilient and wise beyond her years. Grace was so happy in life fulfilling her ambition of studying to become a doctor whilst playing topflight hockey at university.

“She leaves behind devastated extended family and friends. We request that all media outlets stop invading our privacy while we face this sorrow.”


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