Anuj Bidve killer Kiaran Stapleton convicted of murder
- 26 July 2012
- From the section Manchester
A man who shot Indian student Anuj Bidve in the head has been convicted of his murder at Manchester Crown Court.
Kiaran Stapleton, 21, denied murder but had admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
He shot the 23-year-old student, who was doing postgraduate studies in micro-electronics at Lancaster University, in Salford on Boxing Day.
Mr Bidve had been walking with a group of friends early in the morning to the sales in Manchester when he was killed.
His parents Subhash and Yogini were in court to hear the jury return their verdict after 90 minutes of deliberations.
Mrs Bidve cried after the verdict was announced while Mr Bidve bowed in his seat and later held his hands to his face.
Mr Bidve said outside court: "Our son Anuj was the most kindest and most genuine person on this earth.
"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."
Mr Bidve also said: "Stapleton grinned, smiled and openly laughed at the memory of our son and at one stage looked towards the jury and pointed to his face saying: 'Look at this face. Does it look bothered?'"
He recalled how he and his wife visited Ordsall Lane, the scene of Anuj's shooting, on 18 July - the date of their son's 24th birthday.
"We lit a candle, laid some cards and flowers, said some prayers and shed some tears at the spot where he died," he said.
The couple then went straight to court where they heard "another expert" say why Stapleton killed their son.
Before the verdict was announced, Stapleton had jogged up the steps to the dock from the cells, looked around the courtroom and grinned.
The court had heard he had no clear motive for killing Mr Bidve.
At his first appearance at magistrates court after the killing, he had given his name as "Psycho Stapleton".
Asked during the trial why he had shot a complete stranger, he answered: "I honestly don't know."
Both the prosecution and defence agreed Stapleton had a recognised medical condition - an anti-social personality disorder where he displayed callousness, impulsiveness, anger, lack of remorse and incapacity to experience guilt.
When the prosecution asked if he hoped psychiatric reports would prevent him being jailed, he said: "To be honest, I'm not bothered. I love prison. Lock me up for 65 years."
The jury rejected the defence's claim that he was suffering from an abnormality of mental functioning.
In the hours after the killing, Stapleton had checked into the Campanile Hotel, close to the crime scene, to observe the investigation, the court heard.
He also 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.
Det Ch Supt Mary Doyle, of Greater Manchester Police, said the murder was "completely random and without motive".
She added: "We have investigated all possibilities for the murder but we are no wiser. I have no idea what is going through his mind to be honest."
He will be sentenced on Friday.
Brian Cummings QC, prosecuting, said the starting point for a murder using a firearm was 30 years in prison.