Nottingham murder suspect tries to break into homeless hostel

Picture: Sky News

The man believed to be the suspect who killed three people in Nottingham tried to climb into a care home moments before a school caretaker was found dead, it has been revealed.

CCTV footage obtained by Sky News shows a man wearing a black hoody as he looked for a way into Seely Hirst House residential home, which houses vulnerable and homeless people.

Witnesses said that the man arrived at the property in Mapperley Road just after 4am.

He was seen trying to climb into an open window but a resident woke up and punched him, sending him to the ground.

The suspect then looked for another way in but left with a black backpack and headed towards Magdala Road, where school caretaker Ian Coates was found lying dead.

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Police said: ‘A man matching the description of the suspect attempted to gain entry to a supported living complex in Mapperley Road.’

Video footage shows the man dressed all in black trying to get in an open window of a bail hostel along a road close to the attack.

A witness said the man was rambling about wanting to see a doctor.

They said: ‘He tried to climb in just after 4am, he seemed confused and was rambling nonsense, he said he wanted to see a doctor, he was screaming, ‘let me in, I want to see a doctor, let me in’.

‘Obviously at the time the residents didn’t know who he was, but it’s pretty scary to think what could have happened if he managed to get in.

‘Luckily the man who’s window it was woke up and punched him, he probably saved everyone’s life.’

Timeline of Nottingham attacks:

4am – A witness describes seeing a male attacker stabbing a young man and a young woman on Ilkeston Road. Police later found two people dead.

Tributes were later paid to Grace Kumar and Barnaby Webber who were killed just five minutes walk from their home.

5am – Chilling CCTV footage shows a black-clad man believed to be the suspect looking for a way into Seely Hirst House, which houses vulnerable and homeless people.

5.30am – Delivery driver Miklos Toldi, 37, and his wife Petra find the body of Ian Coates – a 65-year-old school caretaker – in Magdala Road as they head to work in their car at around 5.30am.

5.30am – Witness Lynn Haggitt sees a man in a white van on Milton Street near the Theatre Royal. She said the man looked in his mirror and see a police car behind him, before ‘quickening up’ and slamming into two people.

5.40am – On Bentinck Road, witness Kane Brady wakes up to what sounded like gunshots’ and sees a person tasered, dragged out of a van and arrested. Police arrested a 31-year-old man on Bentinck Road, but have not yet said when.

Talented students Grace Kumar, and Barnaby Webber, both 19, had been stabbed to death in the street in Ilkeston Road just after 4am.

Tributes have today been paid to the third victim of the attacks, as Ian Coates was killed close to the care home in Magdala Road, before the suspect stole his van, police said.

Police launched a ‘major incident’, with several roads across the town centre locked down, as the horror unfolded.

Barnaby’s heartbroken family – parents David and Emma Webber, and younger brother Charlie – have described their ‘complete devastation’ at the ‘senseless murder of our son’, saying he was a ‘beautiful, brilliant, bright young man, with everything in life to look forward to’.

They added in a statement: ‘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.’

A residential care home resident, who did not want to be identified, said: ‘He tried to get into my window. Thank god I woke up as I might have been dead.’

Alex Pridmore, a trustee of the All Saints Shelter charity, which runs the home, said the footage showed someone trying to gain access through a ground-floor window at about 4am on Tuesday.

Mr Pridmore said: ‘None of our residents were hurt.

‘A resident had woken up and shut the window and was able to prevent the man coming in.

‘The CCTV has been provided to the police. The resident alerted security, we have 24/7 security on the door.’

Taunton School said the death of Barnaby – a pupil from nursery right through to sixth form – is ‘utterly devastating’.

A statement on its website said: ‘He was a much-loved, kind and engaging character. That a young man of such promise should lose his life in these circumstances is utterly devastating.

‘We send our love and deepest condolences to his family. We continue to do all we can to support them and all in our community affected by these events.

‘When the time comes, we will find a fitting way in which to remember Barnaby and his special contribution to our school.’

In a short statement, Taunton-based Bishops Hull Cricket Club paid tribute to the teen, who was one of its members, describing him as a ‘dear friend’.

Barnaby was described as a ‘key part’ of the club – ‘playing more than 30 games for the club, scoring 622 runs, and taking 29 wickets’ – and the statement invited family and friends to lay flowers and pay their respects at the ground.