Anuj Bidve case accused pleads guilty to manslaughter

Bidve’s sister says Stapleton should be given a punishment as harsh as possible

Written by Express News Service | Published: June 2, 2012 2:52 am

Bidve’s sister says Stapleton should be given a punishment as harsh as possible

The 21-year-old Briton charged with the unprovoked 2011 Boxing Day shooting of Indian student from Pune,Anuj Bidve in Salford on Friday pleaded guilty to manslaughter,but not guilty to murder.

Kiaran Stapleton,who at an earlier court hearing in January described himself as ‘Psycho Stapleton’,entered a plea of “guilty to the manslaughter of Anuj Bidve on the grounds of diminished responsibility,but not guilty to murder.”

The Crown rejected the plea and there will be a murder trial starting June 25,official sources said.

Bidve’s family members travelled from Pune to the UK to attend the ‘plea and case management hearing’ at the Manchester Crown Court. In a statement,Bidve’s family said,“We have made the journey from India to the United Kingdom because it was very important to us to hear,in person,Kiaran Stapleton’s plea.”

“This is the first time we have returned to the UK since Anuj was taken away from us on Boxing Day of last year,and the first time we have come face-to-face with the man charged with his murder,so clearly this is a very emotional and difficult time for us,” they said.

The Bidve family requested the media to respect their privacy and the integrity of the court process.

Anuj Bidve,23,a student of Microelectronics at Lancaster University,was walking with friends in Salford when he was shot in the head at point-blank range.

Reacting to the guilty plea,senior Labour MP Keith Vaz said,“I welcome Mr Stapleton’s admission of responsibility for this terrible crime. Nothing can lessen the pain of the Bidve family,but to see Anuj’s killer brought to justice will bring this tragic case to a close.”

A statement issued by Anuj’s sister Neha and brother-in-law Rakesh Sonavane from Pune said,“Stapleton pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter at Manchester Crown Court today. It was a very emotional and difficult time for the family to come face to face with Stapleton. Stapleton has been remanded in custody ahead of a trial at Manchester Crown Court on June 25. Our family is awaiting justice. Stapleton should be given a punishment as harsh as possible.”

On January 7,Bidve’s body was brought to his Pune residence at Shrikrishna Society in Chandan Nagar. The British police had initially held five persons in connection with the murder. Of them,one was found not involved and three others were released on bail. Stapleton was charged with murder. Bidve’s parents had also been to Britain and had visited the spot where he was shot dead. A team of Greater Manchester police had visited Bidve’s family members at their Pune residence.

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