Valdo Mendes, 31, who is charged in Britain with killing two teenage students and a 65-year-old caretaker, made his first court appearance on Saturday in Nottinghamshire, north of London. Photo by Lindsey Parnaby/EPA-EFE
June 17 (UPI) — The man charged in Nottingham, Britain, with killing two teenage students and a 65-year-old caretaker made his first court appearance on Saturday.
Valdo Amissao Mendes Calocane gave his name as Valdo Mendes during the appearance in Magistrates Court in the British city of Nottingham, 130 miles north of London Saturday.
The 31-year-old has permanent resident status in Britain, and is a dual national according to police, holding a passport from Portugal and Guinea-Bissau, a small Portuguese-speaking nation in West Africa.
Mendes is charged with stabbing deaths of Barnaby Philip John Webber and Grace Sashi O’Malley-Kumar. The two 19-year-old students were found stabbed to death around 4 a.m. on Tuesday. Police later found the body of Ian Robert Coates, 65, on a nearby road. Coates had also been stabbed.
Police contend Mendes, who has no fixed address listed in court documents, killed all three but have not speculated on a motive.
Both Webber and O’Malley-Kumar were students at the University of Nottingham, the same institution where once Mendes graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering.
He also faces three counts of attempted murder for intentionally hitting three pedestrians while driving a van, injuring three people as he tried to evade arrest.
Officers arrested Mendes on Tuesday after police put up roadblocks and shut down the center of the city with a population of 823,000.
Family members of the victims held a silent vigil near the spot they were killed Saturday night.
Mendes is due to make his next appearance in court on Tuesday.
“This has been an incredibly sad time for our city and county, and we stand united with our communities as we come to terms with the effects of what has happened,” Nottinghamshire Police Chief Kate Meynell said in a statement Friday evening.
“We are keenly aware of the deep emotion being felt surrounding these tragic events and the high level of interest, not only in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire but also across the whole country. However, posting prejudicial information online about an active case could amount to contempt of court and, in the most serious cases, have the potential to cause the collapse of a trial.”