Student murder accused gives name as 'Psycho Stapleton'

 

The man accused of gunning down Indian student Anuj Bidve on Boxing Day gave his name as "Psycho Stapleton" when he appeared in court today charged with murder.

Kiaran Stapleton, 20, from Ordsall, Salford, was remanded in custody for 24 hours at City of Manchester Magistrates' Court.

Mr Bidve, 23, described as a "promising and clever" student, was shot once in the head after being approached by a lone gunman at around 1.30am on December 26. He died a short time later in hospital.

He was with a group of fellow Indian students visiting Manchester for Christmas when he was murdered.

The apparently motiveless killing generated national and international shock, especially in the victim's home country.

A scrum of TV cameramen and photographers crowded the prison van carrying Stapleton as it arrived at court, while inside the courtroom was packed with reporters.

Shortly before the hearing began, four armed officers dressed in black stood in each corner of the court.

Wearing handcuffs, Stapleton was brought into the dock and asked for his name.

He replied: "Psycho. Psycho Stapleton."

The defendant, wearing a grey Nike T-shirt and grey jogging bottoms and flanked by two police officers, then confirmed his date of birth.

Ben Southam, prosecuting, said: "He appears charged with murder. That's a matter that can only be dealt with at the crown court by a judge under section 115 of the Coroners and Justices Act."

He added: "He will be sent to Manchester Crown Court in due course.

"Bail can only be considered by a crown court judge. As far as bail is concerned that's opposed by the Crown."

There was no application for bail.

Two officers from Greater Manchester Police have flown to India to meet Mr Bidve's family.

His father, Subhash Bidve, has been critical of the way the British and Indian authorities have handled the case. He found out about his son's death on Facebook at home in Pune, India, before police in the UK could contact him.

Mr Bidve was studying for a micro-electronics postgraduate qualification at Lancaster University.

Described as "clever and sporty", he arrived in the UK in September after completing an electronics degree at Pune University.

Hundreds of people plan to attend a candlelit memorial service for Mr Bidve in Ordsall Lane at 6pm tonight, while hundreds more are expected at a peace march for him in India, starting near Nehru Park in New Delhi at 6pm and finishing at the British Embassy.

PA

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