Friday 20 October 2017

Smirking killer 'must never' be freed

Kim Pilling in Manchester

A laughing, smirking murderer who walked up to a complete stranger and shot him dead should never be released from prison, the victim's father said yesterday.

Kiaran 'Psycho' Stapleton faces a lengthy spell in prison when he is sentenced today for the murder of Indian microelectronics student, Anuj Bidve (23), in Salford on St Stephen's Day last year.

Stapleton (21), was seen by witnesses to laugh as he stood over the body before running off. He also found amusement in police interviews over the murder and regularly grinned and laughed throughout his five-week murder trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Mr Bidve's father, Subhash, said the antics of Stapleton "openly laughed at the memory of our son".

Stapleton admitted killing Mr Bidve on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denied murder.

A jury took barely more than two hours to reject that.

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 Bidve was visiting Manchester with friends from Lancaster University last Christmas.

They left their hotel in the early hours of St Stephen's Day to queue early for the sales when their paths crossed with Stapleton's.

He crossed 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.

Following the verdict, Subhash Bidve said: "Our son, Anuj, was the kindest and most genuine person on this earth. He knew the difference between right and wrong and lived his life the right way."

Hopes

"Kiaran Stapleton is the complete opposite and yet he is the one who is still alive and our son is dead.

"When Anuj came to the United Kingdom in September 2011, he carried with him the hopes and dreams of all our family.

"He was the man who was going to fulfil our hopes and dreams. Instead, in the early hours of Boxing Day morning, Stapleton cold-bloodedly and brutally murdered our son.

"Whilst giving his evidence in this trial Stapleton grinned, smiled and openly laughed at the memory of our son.

"When he was in the witness box, he was not bothered about anything. He is a bad man, he is a cruel man and he got what he deserved," Subhash Bidve added.

He said that he thought that Stapleton knew exactly why he killed his son but would not tell.

"He should not in fact be released from prison because he may do something again," Subhash Bidve said. "That is what he said (himself)."

In the days after the shooting, Stapleton booked into a hotel which overlooked the crime scene to keep pace with the investigation.

Then he went to a tattoo parlour and had a teardrop design placed below his right eye -- a symbol used by gangs to mark that the wearer has killed.

Mr Justice King said whatever sentence he imposes today, Stapleton would only be released if he was considered to no longer pose a danger to the public. "This may never happen," he added.

Irish Independent

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