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Laughing gunman Kiaran ‘Psycho’ Stapleton should die in jail for killing my son

By Kim Pilling

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 has said.

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 Boxing Day last year.

Stapleton (21) was seen by witnesses to laugh as he stood over the body of his victim 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 argument. 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 a group of friends from Lancaster University last Christmas.

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

He walked across 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, Mr Bidve said: “Our son Anuj was the kindest and most genuine person on this Earth.

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

“Whilst giving his evidence in this trial 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?”'

Mr Bidve later added: “He is a bad man, he is a cruel man and he got what he deserved.”

Stapleton told one psychologist in prison that he picked out his victim because “he had the biggest head”, the court heard.

Profile

Kiaran ‘Psycho’ Stapleton’s callousness and audacity was stark in the days he remained at large after the shooting. First he booked in to a hotel which overlooked the crime scene to keep pace with the investigation.

Then he got a teardrop tattoo placed below his right eye — a symbol used by some gangs to mark that the wearer has killed someone.

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