Student killer guilty of murder

Victim Anuj Bidve
Victim Anuj Bidve

A JURY has found a man who shot dead a Lancaster University student in the street guilty of murder.

Kiaran Stapleton walked up to Indian student Anuj Bidve, 23, in Salford, Greater Manchester, pulled out a handgun and fired one shot to his head.

The defendant accepted he killed Mr Bidve but argued he was not in control of his actions at the time.

His defence said Stapleton, 21, was guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but not murder.

Mr Bidve was visiting Manchester with a group of eight 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 path crossed with Stapleton’s.

He walked across the road in Ordsall Lane 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.

Mr Bidve never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead in hospital.

Stapleton denied murder and pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month, but his plea was not accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service and the matter went to trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Lancaster University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark E Smith said: “We will remember Anuj Bidve as an outstanding student at the very beginning of a promising career.

“His family have suffered a terrible and lasting loss and our deepest sympathies are extended to them.

“As a fitting and lasting way to celebrate Anuj’s life the university has set up the annual Anuj Bidve Memorial Scholarship which will fund a student graduating from the University of Pune to come to Lancaster University to study an MSc in the Engineering Department.

“We hope that the first student to receive the award could come in October 2012.”

Professor Andrew Richardson, from the Engineering Department, said: “Anuj was a pleasure to teach. His enthusiasm and attention to detail was part of what makes teaching in a university environment such an enjoyable experience.

“I will greatly miss Anuj as will my fellow academic colleagues and PhD students.”