21-Aug-2014
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Gunman laughed as he shot Indian student dead, court hears

Gunman laughed as he shot Indian student dead, court hears
MANCHESTER June 26: A gunman "laughed and ran off" after killing an Indian student who was spending the Christmas holidays with friends in England, a prosecutor said as his trial opened on Monday.

Kiaran Stapleton, 21, who has already admitted killing 23-year-old Anuj Bidve, shot the student in the early hours of December 26 last year in Salford, northwest England.

"Anuj Bidve immediately fell to the ground, fatally injured," prosecutor Brian Cummings said as the trial opened at Manchester Crown Court.

"The gunman smirked or laughed and ran off." Bidve, who was studying at Lancaster University in northwest England, was shot once in the head as he walked through Salford with friends, and died a short time later in hospital.

He had arrived in Britain last September from the Indian city of Pune and was working towards a post-graduate qualification in micro-electronics.

His parents Subhash and Yogini flew from Pune to Britain to attend the trial. They watched from the front row of the public gallery, out of sight of Stapleton, who sat in the dock surrounded by four prison officers.

The court heard that Stapleton and his friend Ryan Holden encountered the group of Indian and Pakistani friends in the street at about 1:30 am.

Stapleton crossed the road and asked them what the time was. One of the group answered and Stapleton, who gave his name as "Psycho Stapleton" at an earlier hearing, suddenly pulled out a gun and shot Bidve, before fleeing with Holden.

Holden was arrested on December 28, a day before Stapleton, but his status has since been changed from suspect to prosecution witness. On the night Bidve died, Stapleton was angry after being told that his ex-girlfriend Chelsea Holden -- Ryan Holden's cousin -- had slept with another man while they were still a couple, the court heard. The defence are expected to call expert psychiatric evidence in the trial, which is set to last up to four weeks.