LONDON – Kiaran ‘Psycho’ Stapleton, a Briton who shot dead Indian student Anuj Bidve in an unprovoked attack last year was on Thursday held guilty of murder after a trial in the Manchester Crown Court.
Stapleton, 21, who once called himself ‘Psycho’ Stapleton in a court hearing, had earlier admitted manslaughter but not murder, on grounds of diminished responsibility, but his plea was not accepted by prosecutors and the case went to trial from June 25.
The trial which lasted a little over one month was attended by Bidve’s parents, who had arrived from Pune.
The jury took 90 minutes to reach the ‘guilty’ decision.
The verdict that Stapleton was guilty of murder, and not manslaughter as he had pleaded, is likely to lead to a more stringent punishment.
Bidve, who was studying Micro-electronics at Lancaster University, was walking to the Boxing Day sales with eight friends when he was shot dead on December 26 without warning at Ordsall Lane, Salford.
The case sparked outrage in the UK and India, and top British officials gave assurances that Britain was a safe place for Indian students to come and study.
The police came in for praise for their handling of the case.
“Justice has been done. The Bidve family have shown great dignity throughout this sad time. The trial has been painful for them and I hope this verdict will allow them to rebuild their lives without their beloved son Anuj”, Senior Labour leader, Keith Vaz, said soon after the jury returned the guilty verdict.