A white gunman who shot student Anuj Bidve in an unprovoked racist attack in Salford, Manchester, last December was on Thursday convicted of his murder. Kiaran Stapleton (21), who calls himself “Psycho Stapleton”, will be sentenced on Friday.
He faces life sentence after a jury at Manchester Crown Court rejected the defence’s claim that he suffered from a mental abnormality and found him guilty of murdering Bidve in cold blood without any provocation.
Prosecutor Brian Cummings, QC, said the starting point for a murder using a firearm was 30 years in prison. Stapleton denied murder but admitted to the lesser offence of manslaughter on account of “diminished responsibility”. He showed no emotion as the verdict was delivered. Bidve’s mother, Yogini wept, while his father, Subhash Bidve, held his hands to his face.
Later, speaking outside the court, Mr. Bidve said: “Our son Anuj was the most kindest and most genuine person on this earth. Anuj Bidve was killed as he walked through Salford with friends. He knew the difference between right and wrong and lived his life the right way. Kiaran Stapleton is the complete opposite, yet he is the one who is still alive and our son is dead.”
Bidve (23), a P-G student of Lancaster University, was holidaying in Salfordwith his friends when in the early hours of December 26 the group was accosted by two white men in their 20s. One of them — later identified as Stapleton — shot him in the head at close range after asking him for time.