The killer of Indian student Anuj Bidve was on Friday sentenced to life imprisonment for what the judge described as a “truly wicked act”.
Kiaran Stapleton (21), convicted of killing Bidve in an unprovoked attack in Manchester last December, will spend a minimum of 30 years in jail and can only be considered for release after that term if a parole board is satisfied that he is no longer a risk to the public.
Stapleton, who calls himself “Psycho Stapleton”, gestured to his family to “chin up” as he was led to the cells.
Sentencing him at the Manchester Crown Court, the judge described him as a “highly dangerous man” who posed a high risk of serious harm to other people. He said Stapleton showed “most callous disregard” after he gunned down Bidve and also during the trial. By a “single act of cruelty” he had brought about the “premature death of a bright young man”.
“In my judgment, this was no impulsive act on your part. It was a piece of cold-blooded controlled aggression. 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,” the judge said.
Bidve’s parents, who visited the spot where their son was killed and laid flowers, were in court to hear the verdict. His father, Subhash, said Stapleton had “openly laughed at the memory of our son” and should never be released from prison. Mary Doyle, chief superintendant of Greater Manchester Police, said the parents were “very pleased Stapleton will not even be eligible for parole until he is in his fifties”. “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,” she said.
Bidve (23), a postgraduate student of Lancaster University, was killed while holidaying in Salford, Manchester, with his friends. The group was walking down the street early on Boxing Day when accosted by two white men. One of them, later identified as Stapleton, shot him in the head at close range after asking him for the time. Bidve later died in hospital.