A KILLER who called himself ‘Psycho’ has been found guilty of murdering an Indian student at random.
Kiaran Stapleton walked up to stranger Anuj Bidve, 23, in the street in Salford, Greater Manchester, and shot him in the head at point blank range.
While on remand in Strangeways Prison, Manchester, Stapleton attacked a fellow killer, Michael Sharp, 28, of Ossett, near Leeds, in a prison ritual known as a “jugging”.
Stapleton, 21 had admitted manslaughter of Mr Bidve on the grounds of diminished responsibility but a jury at Manchester Crown Court rejected that argument and convicted him of murder.
Before the verdict was announced, Stapleton, wearing a grey Adidas tracksuit, jogged up the steps to the dock from the cells.
He looked around the courtroom and grinned before the jury foreman stood up.
He stared straight ahead as the verdict was announced.
Mr Bidve had arrived in the UK last September to embark on postgraduate studies in micro-electronics.
His parents, Subhash and Yogini, flew from their home in Pune, India, to attend the trial and each day listened intently to the evidence from the front row of the public gallery.
As the verdict was delivered. Mrs Bidve cried and Mr Bidve bowed in his seat and later held his hands to his face.
Stapleton’s parents, Tony and Billie-Jean, stayed away from the trial.
Four of Stapleton’s eight brothers and sisters attended most days, including one brother who sported the same teardrop tattoo as the defendant.
Some of his siblings were in tears at the outcome.
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 calmly 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.
He was then seen to smirk or laugh over his victim’s body before he ran off to his nearby home in Ordsall. The weapon, which fired a 9mm bullet, has not been found.
Mr Bidve never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead in hospital.
While awaiting trial, Stapleton attacked fellow killer Michael Sharp in prison.
Sharp is serving life for the gruesome murder of a car dealer in Wakefield. He was jailed for a minimum of 27 years after torturing David Ward, 38, with a hammer, screwdriver and knuckleduster in a bid to persuade him to hand over the key to a safe containing what he thought was £20,000.
The attack in January 2008 was so sustained that his victim died from his injuries.
Stapleton poured a mop bucket full of hot water over Sharp’s head as he played chess. Sugar was melted in the liquid so it would stick to his victim’s skin, an attack known in prison as a “jugging”.
Stapleton, 21, then carried on the attack on the Category A prison wing using billiard balls in a sock with the help of two friends from Salford armed with pool cues.
He will be sentenced for Mr Bidve’s murder tomorrow.