30 Years For Man Who Styled Himself ‘Psycho’ & Walked Up to stranger Anuj Bidve Shooting Him Dead

Kiaran Stapleton, the killer of Indian student Anuj Bidve, has been jailed for life with a minimum of 30 years.


11:55AM BST 27 Jul 2012

Kiaran Stapleton, 21, of Ordsall, Salford, who has been convicted of the murder, at Manchester Crown Court, of Anuj Bidve Photo: PA

Stapleton, who styled himself ‘psycho’ walked up to stranger Anuj Bidve, 23, in the street in Salford, Greater Manchester, and shot him in the head at point blank range.

Stapleton, 21, had admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but a jury at Manchester Crown Court rejected that argument and convicted him of murder yesterday.

Stapleton laughed as he stood over the body of his victim, who he gunned down in the early hours of Boxing Day last year.

He also found amusement in police interviews over the murder and regularly grinned and laughed throughout his five-week murder trial.

The defendant beamed as he came into court for the verdict and again towards a family member as he was led from the dock.

Mr Justice King told Stapleton: “In my judgment, this was no impulsive act on your part. It was a piece of cold-blooded controlled aggression.”

He said he had showed a “most callous disregard” in laughing and smirking after he gunned down Mr Bidve and also during the trial.

“You have behaved in a way demonstrating that you are positively boastful about having killed Mr Bidve,” he said.

The judge continued: “By that single act of cruelty you brought about the premature death of a bright young man who had already achieved so much and had so much to look forward to in the future.

“There was a significant degree of premeditation. Not in the sense that you had already in advance identified Anuj Bidve as the candidate for what you were about to do. When you went out you were fully minded to find a victim to satisfy your desire to shoot and kill someone if you could.

“I have no doubt that when you fired that fatal shot you had the intention to kill and moreover at all times you were in full control of your actions and fully aware of what you were doing.”

He noted his medical condition of an anti-social personality disorder but said in his view that did not in any way lower the culpability for what he said was “a truly wicked act”.

Stapleton would only be released after 30 years if a parole board was satisfied he no longer posed a risk to the public and even then would be on life licence and could be recalled at any time.

Mr Justice King said at present he regarded the defendant as “a highly dangerous young man”.

The only mitigating factor for Stapleton was his age and the history of his upbringing in “a disturbed family environment”, he said.

Stapleton nodded before he was led from the dock and then motioned with his hand towards his family to say “Chin up”.

Brian Cummings QC, prosecuting, read out extracts from Subhash Bidve’s victim impact statement on behalf of his family.

It spoke of the irony of Mr Bidve choosing the UK as a place to study rather than the United States and Australia because the family considered it the safer country.

His father wrote: “Everyone in the family was so proud of him. Anuj was taking all our hopes with him. He was the first Bidve boy to go abroad to study.

“The journey was Anuj’s dream and more importantly his future. He looked like he was loving his course, the only thing he complained about was the weather.

“Our life fell apart on December 26. Anuj was the most gentle person you could ever meet. To shoot him in the street for no reason at all is just incomprehensible.

“We will never recover from this dreadful act.”

Mr Justice King responded: “No words of mine can express the extent of the grief and desolation of those statements describing the devastating impact.”

He paid tribute to Mr Bidve’s family for the dignified manner they had shown during the trial and said the court “appreciated the anguish” the experience must have caused, not least listening to the meticulous psychological and psychiatric evidence in the case and the lack of remorse shown by the defendant.

He said he hoped the family and the wider Indian community would come to accept that “this dreadful killing was the act of a single individual who is not representative of the wider community of so many different backgrounds who are resident in this country”.

The judge said the team of detectives investigating the case should be publicly commended for their skill and expertise as justice might not have been done without their endeavour.

Following sentencing, senior investigating officer Detective Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle said: “Anuj’s family have got the verdict they deserved. I have spoken to the family and while they remain grief-stricken that nothing can bring Anuj back, they are very pleased Stapleton will not even be eligible for parole until he is in his fifties.

“The judge labelled Stapleton’s actions a truly wicked act and that is exactly what it was.

“On behalf of myself and all my team, I would like to pay tribute to the dignity that Anuj’s family have shown. They have had to sit through five weeks of harrowing evidence but at least today they have seen justice done.

“Our thoughts remain with Anuj’s family as they fly back to India and try to rebuild their lives after the senseless loss of their son.”

Following the verdict, Mr Bidve’s father Subhash said Stapleton had “openly laughed at the memory of our son”.

He said he believed Stapleton should never be released from prison.

His son had arrived in the UK to study micro-electronics at Lancaster University and was visiting Manchester with a group of friends last Christmas.

They left their hotel in Salford to queue early for the sales when their paths crossed with Stapleton’s.

He calmly walked across the road and repeatedly asked for the time.

When someone finally answered he pulled a handgun out of his pocket and fired one shot to Mr Bidve’s left temple.

Stapleton told one psychologist in prison that he picked out his victim because “he had the biggest head”, the court heard.

The day after the murder he booked into a hotel which overlooked the crime scene in Ordsall Lane and then later went to a tattoo parlour and had a teardrop design placed below his right eye – a symbol used by some gangs to mark that the wearer has killed someone.

After he was arrested and charged with murder he made his first appearance at Manchester Magistrates’ Court and gave his name as “Psycho Stapleton”.

Mr Bidve and his wife, Yogini, revisited the crime scene last night to say prayers and lay a bouquet of flowers.

They will return home to India today.

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