JUDGES have rejected a bid to overturn the killer of Barnaby Webber’s hospital order after critics branded it unduly lenient.

Valdo Calocane, who killed former Taunton School student Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Ian Cotes in June last year, was sentenced to confinement in a high-security hospital rather than a prison.

It came after Calocane avoided being convicted of murder, and was instead found to have committed manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility, with prosecutors accepting the killer was ‘in the grip of a psychotic episode.’

The attorney general, the government’s top lawyer, challenged the finding in the Court of Appeal, which today (Tuesday, May 14) found “no error” had been made by Mr Justice Turner, who handed down a hospital order to Calocane in January.

Speaking to the media following the ruling, the mother of Barnaby Webber, Emma, said the outcome proved the justice system was “flawed.” In a statement she said: “Despite the fact that the attorney general herself feels that Valdo Calocane did not receive the appropriate sentence, today's outcome proves how utterly flawed and under-resourced the criminal justice system in the UK is. 

"It also illustrates the need for urgent reforms in the UK homicide law."

Mrs Webber has previously backed calls to reform the UK’s homicide to create three tiers of the offence - first degree, second degree, and manslaughter.

Webber said manslaughter pleas enabled criminals to ‘get away with murder.’

Calocane will be held indefinitely in a secure hospital with regular reviews, and could eventually be discharged.