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The man accused of killing Lancaster University student Anuj Bidve in Salford, Manchester, in December has today appeared before Manchester Crown Court.
Kiaran Stapleton, 21, has pleaded guilty for manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility. He pleaded not guilty to murder.
Mr Bidve, 23, from Pune, India, was studying for a postgraduate degree in micro-electronics at Lancaster. He was visiting the post-Christmas sales in Manchester when he was shot at close range whilst walking from his hotel in Trafford Park toward the city centre on Boxing Day, 26th December 2011.
Subhash and Yogini Bidve, parents of the deceased, travelled to England from their home in India to hear Stapleton’s plea. They had previously visited the site of their son’s death shortly after the shooting.
In a statement they said that “this is the first time we have returned to the UK since Anuj was taken away from us, 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.”
Kiaran Stapleton has been remanded in custody awaiting the commencement of his trial on June 25th. The court was told today that his trial will revolve primarily around whether or not Stapleton was of diminished responsibility at the time of the killing.
A candlelit vigil was held by members of the Salford community shortly after the killing, as well as a memorial service attended by 200 people at Lancaster University. A book of condolence was also opened in Graduate College.