Identified as Kiaran Stapleton, he prefers being called ‘Psycho Stapleton'
A 20-year-old identified as Kiaran Stapleton, but who insisted on calling himself “Psycho Stapleton,” was on Monday charged with the murder of Indian university student Anuj Bidve in a suspected racially-motivated attack in Salford, Manchester, on Boxing Day.
Police said they had “sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction” as the accused was produced before a magistrates' court and remanded in custody for 24 hours.
Asked to confirm his name, Stapleton replied: “Psycho. Psycho Stapleton.”
“Are you Kiaran Stapleton?” he was asked.
“No. Psycho Stapleton,” he insisted.
There was a media scrum when Stapleton, wearing a grey Nike T-shirt and grey jogging bottoms and flanked by two police officers, arrived at the court in handcuffs. The courtroom was packed with journalists and local people.
Prosecutor Ben Southam told the court that as the defendant was charged with murder, the case would go to the Manchester Crown Court.
“He appears charged with murder. That's a matter that can only be dealt with at the crown court by a judge under section 115 of the Coroners and Justices Act. He will be sent to Manchester Crown Court in due course,” he said.
Earlier, the chief crown prosecutor Nazir Afzal described it as a “particularly complex investigation.”
“This is a continuing, thorough and particularly complex investigation which, in my view, has been handled by the Greater Manchester Police with utmost professionalism and dedication,” he said as two senior officers from Greater Manchester Police arrived in Pune, to meet Anuj's family which has been critical of the handling of the case.
Police were forced to apologise after his father Subhash Bidve said the family first learned of Anuj's murder through Facebook — and not the police. The family has also complained of delay in releasing Anuj's body.
Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley said the police felt it was “important to make personal contact with the family and offer them every support we could at this difficult time.”
“We need to explain to them in person where we are up to in the investigation and what we are doing to ensure Anuj's body is released to them as soon as possible. Having this conversation face-to-face is absolutely the right thing to do and we will of course continue to provide whatever support we can when the family arrives in the U.K. and once they have returned home,” she said.
Anuj (23), a postgraduate micro-electronics student at Lancaster University, was on holiday in Manchester with his friends when they were accosted by two white men, one of whom ended up killing him after reportedly asking him for time. The gunman reportedly laughed as he fled after shooting Anuj.
Police have announced a reward of £50,000 to catch his killers.
Hundreds of people were expected to attend a candlelit vigil for Anuj in Salford on Monday evening.