Star date: 27th July 2012


Kiaran Stapleton, who murdered Indian student Anuj Bidve in Ordsall Lane on Boxing Day last year, has today been sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum of thirty years.

GMP Detective Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle said after the sentencing that "Anuj's family have got the verdict they deserved… Our thoughts remain with Anuj's family as they fly back to India and try to rebuild their lives after the senseless loss of their son…"

Full details here…

Kiaran Stapleton, the 21 year old from Ordsall who shot and killed Indian student Anuj Bidve in a cold-blooded attack last Boxing Day, has been sentenced to life imprisonment at Manchester Crown Court today. He has also been ordered to serve a minimum of thirty years before he is eligible for parole.

Commenting on the case yesterday, Detective Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle, who led the investigation, said that Stapleton's "horrific act" was without motive…

"There was absolutely nothing remarkable about Stapleton's history and nothing that would ever have suggested he could commit such a cold-blooded, random killing" she said "I have personally not investigated a case like this ever before. It is important now the case is concluded that we focus on the facts of what happened that night as there was a lot of speculation and rumour following Anuj's senseless killing.

"Our investigation found no evidence that Anuj was targeted because of his race" she added "We have no evidence that racist comments were made and there appears to be no motivation for Stapleton other than tragically Anuj and his friends were in the wrong place at the wrong time. He had a gun in his pocket and he used it on the first person he came across. This was a cold-blooded, motiveless killing for which he has shown no remorse and only Stapleton knows why he committed such a horrific act that night.

"What we were able to prove was that Stapleton got a tattoo very soon after he killed Anuj which we believe may have been some sort of boast or badge of honour" she explained "If that is true, such a cold and brazen act tells its own story about what sort of man he is. However, he did not get away with it and today he has been brought to justice."

Chief Superintendent Kevin Mulligan, divisional commander for Salford was at pains to point out that, though the murder happened in Salford, the community was as shocked and appalled as the rest of the world…

"Let me be clear that Anuj's tragic death was not about organised criminality or about Salford as a community" he said "Living in Salford is not what motivated Stapleton to do what he did: it was the inexplicable actions of one man who targeted a young man with his whole life ahead of him for no apparent reason whatsoever...

"Anuj's murder caused complete shock and outrage in our community" he added "People in Ordsall, and across Salford, were absolutely appalled this happened on their doorsteps and there was an outpouring of anger and grief from everyone who lives here. What also struck me in the days and weeks that followed was that our close-knit community pulled together to assist the investigation. The fact that hundreds of people in this area came to pay their respects at Anuj's vigil shows the strength of feeling in this community.

"It is also important to stress that it was information that came directly from this community that led to Stapleton being charged. In the days after Anuj's murder we personally visited every home in Ordsall and the overwhelming feeling was one of wanting to secure justice for the family.

"I completely understand that people in this country and in India will be looking at Salford and asking questions about how safe it is to live and work here. I know from speaking to the community that people were upset about how this city has been portrayed…"

After the sentence was announced today, Detective Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle concluded…

"Anuj's family have got the verdict they deserved. I have spoken to the family and while they remain grief stricken that nothing can bring Anuj back, they are very pleased Stapleton will not even be eligible for parole until he is in his fifties. The judge labelled Stapleton's actions a truly wicked act and that is exactly what it was.

"On behalf of myself and all my team, I would like to pay tribute to the dignity that Anuj's family have shown. They have had to sit through five weeks of harrowing evidence but at least today they have seen justice done. Our thoughts remain with Anuj's family as they fly back to India and try to rebuild their lives after the senseless loss of their son."

See previous Salford Star article on the Anuj Bidve Vigil - click here

Irwell Running Through Me wrote
at 9:35:50 AM on Friday, August 17, 2012
To Ms Welsh. My response, in the first instance, would have to be to apologise in calling your personal and professional integrity into question. I hope you will accept that as my post was quite knee jerk and very unfair.//I find myself increasingly frustrated by the MEN, to be completely honest, and I had perhaps tarred you with a brush best used for the Group itself.//I have some insight and I fully understand that whatever you do, whatever you write, no matter how hard you work, the newspaper has an agenda which is purely profit driven.//Hence, I am sure your editor and subs will shape any piece, as the MEN consistently does, to the lowest common denominator - i.e. the readership it has courted these last few years.//These people tend to be very ill informed, very reactionary, and very dim witted Daily Mail readers.//God forbid there should be a story with the word 'hijab' in it!!//And the MEN does all it can to court them purely for web hits because theyare simpletons, quick to anger and slow to think.//If you ever read the comments on any story in the MEN, with any tabloidesque headline relating to: Housing benefit, JSA, Immigration, or crime of any sort you will know this.//For the most part,almost every 'news' item is merely a press release, with seemingly very little actual journalism involved and though you have countered this point half an hour reading the paper suggests otherwise.//One rarely ever sees a balanced piece and more and more the outlet resorts to tabloid language where people are often referred to as 'holligan' and 'thug' etc. It is shoddy and cynical writing at best and really denigrates what was once a truly decent regional paper.//The MEN has become to balanced, impartial reporting what Salford Council is to Socialism. Which I think sums up my feelings.//However and again, I feel that my previous comment very much amounted to a sleight on you personally and professionally and that was entirely uncalled for and incorrect. Perhaps I have been reading MEN comments too much ha ha.//I hope you will forgive me and I wish you the very best of luck in all of your future endeavours.
NO Justice wrote
at 5:53:51 AM on Friday, August 17, 2012
Great post , Pamela Welch. As regards the disgraceful acquittal of the arrogant , violent, bullying , police thug who murdered Ian Tomlinson , I hope he rots in hell ....
Pamela Welsh wrote
at 1:55:29 PM on Thursday, August 16, 2012
Hi Irwell Runs Through Me, While I'm happy to engage with you on this, I also think you are making massive assumptions about me and my career, so perhaps you'd like to rethink those. There is an issue with 'churnalism' in the British media. I grant you that without any argument. Spaces need filled, PRs (mostly former journalists) send releases that plug those gaps. In an industry which is shedding jobs like nobody's business, it's a sad state of affairs. /// I'm not sitting here pretending that I never re-nosed a press release. But I made a real concerted effort not to be a 'churnalist'. In every area I've covered, I've made a real effort to be IN the community. I didn't sit at my desk and churn out regularly - I went out and spoke to local people and got their real stories. You can criticise me for that if you like, but I stand by that./// And no, all my liberal sentiments didn't go out the window because I was a few hundred feet from a murderer. I was merely making the point that emotions run very high in those situations. Maybe I'm too soft, but being near someone who has made the deliberate decision to take the life of another person invoked a very strange gut instinct in me. I'm not especially proud of that. I was just offering a tiny bit of insight into how I felt, in the hope that it might have gone some way to explaining the way it was reported// You also speak of my "lack of impartiality". What you are mixing up is gut reaction and professional reportage. I was being honest and detailing my gut reaction. Obviously you've misunderstood this as in some way evidence that my reportage would have been marred by this feeling. It wouldn't have been// Finally, you say the MEN would have me back. I don't want to go back. There ARE hard-working journalists in the communities in which we live and it is so frustrating to try to be one of those while people automatically assume that you are some wannabe tabloid-esque journalist, scum of the earth, phone hacking tosser. I'm not asking for a medal here, I wasn't perfect and I made mistakes. Perhaps you have grounds for accusing me of sensationalist pap. But I tried SO HARD to devote myself to those communities. That's why I'm doing the job I do now. Anyway, I realise that somehow I've upset you, for which I apologise. Would be interested in your response.
Irwell Running Through Me wrote
at 6:50:09 AM on Thursday, August 16, 2012
Thinking of what Pamela Welsh added to this debate only goes to illustrate the state of the British print media - no offence intended Pam. But lets be honest, you recently worked as Churnalist at the MEN, and knowing how the media works you were still so terribly affected by it that all of your liberal sentiments went out of the window merely because you spent a few minutes within 100 feet of a murder.//It wouldn't really matter unless you were covering the case for the MEN, in which case your lack of impartiality would, I'd have thought, ensured you a shining career at the MEN. Oh well. I am sure they will have you back.//It seems they cannot get enough people to write sensationalist pap.
J2 wrote
at 8:43:46 PM on Saturday, July 28, 2012
You could denote a paragraph break with two slashes. // This is me starting a new paragraph here.
Salford Star wrote
at 12:37:08 PM on Saturday, July 28, 2012
See Pamela's comment below... Wish we could have paragraph breaks and stuff but the way the site was designed doesn't allow it. See look - just had a para break but it will come out on the same line. Nowt we can do - unless anyone wants to give us £millions for a new website??
Pamela Welsh wrote
at 12:33:40 PM on Saturday, July 28, 2012
Ps Steve, love the debates here but is there any way to change how the comments are displayed? I always take time to paragraph break etc but it never shows up and just looks like one long rant. Sorry to be pedantic
Pamela Welsh wrote
at 12:33:34 PM on Saturday, July 28, 2012
Hi J, Can I please add my thoughts? I actually think that the reason why the media coverage has been so severe is because of Stapleton himself and how he acted in court. I used to be a reporter for the MEN and I was in court for his first appearance. The court room was packed, there were armed guards inside the court room. It was fairly frightening, even though I'm probably not supposed to admit that. Stapleton refused to stand for the magistrate when he came in, was surly and uncooperative throughout, showed no remorse. The 'pyscho' tag may have come from another source, but it was pretty hideous. I cannot describe to you the very perceptible shiver that went through the room at that time. You have to remember as well that it came not that long after 'the crossbow cannibal'. That moniker was given out by the press, if you remember, but it didn't stop it being exceptionally creepy. Thankfully, I've not spent much time near cold-blooded killers. Many of us haven't. But he was menacing. I was in town yesterday on an errand and I happened to see the prison van taking Stapleton away from crown court. Now, I'm very much of the school that prison should be a place of rehabilitation, that education is a powerful tool against violence etc. I hate all that right-wing nonsense about bringing back the birch etc. But when I was standing watching that van pass, I really did want him to rot in hell. That's so unlike my character, but might explain a bit why his case has been so villified. He did come across as a monster. He shot dead an innocent man, with his whole life ahead of him. For NO reason. And then showed nothing. Finally, I think the world is in complete agreement with you re the G20 case. But I think you are confusing two issues. The first is the sentencing guidelines set down for judges and the second is the CPS arguments around whether or not the policeman was culpable. I don't think the CPS lawyers did a good enough job in convincing a jury that it was beyond reasonable doubt - so it's the lawyers who should carry the can, not the judges. Just my twopenneth
J2 wrote
at 2:16:37 AM on Saturday, July 28, 2012
I found it interesting that the Mirror and The Telegraph wrote near-identical articles because they'd barely reworded the press release. It goes on a lot. I wish court transcripts were more available to give people the chance to read something other than the exact same story in slightly different words. Am I allowed to post links here? If not, can you edit them out? These are the articles I mean: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9429463/Kiaran-Stapleton-a-man-lacking-identity-who-sought-the-notoriety-of-a-killer.html http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/kiaran-stapleton-profile-of-a-killer-hunting-1171344
J wrote
at 12:40:55 PM on Friday, July 27, 2012
m Irlam- you obviously didn't read my post properly. Any murder is a despicable act especially on a harmless visitor to the country who wanted to better his life but what differentiates this from other murders where guns are involved? Not a lot. Thats my point. Yet he's been vilified in the press more than needed, the reputation of Ordsall and Salford has yet again been dealt another blow and been given a disproportionate sentence to the crime. Meanwhile, I mentioned the policeman who last week walked out of court, and there is of course another similar case in Salford at the minute but I'm not sure of the legalities of posting about it. Salford Star- I appreciate the general sentiment of your post and I understand the restriction this site has. But I do find it enjoyable to read the alternative or more analytic views this site offers that looks further into the issues (for example the riots) rather than taking it at face value like the mainstream media, even as much as I sometimes disagree with them. I understand if you haven't had the resources to do it on this occasion but my problem is more with the mainstream media. The worst culprit appears to be Granada Reports which has sensationalised the case to the extreme by not contextualising events and comments.
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 12:40:47 PM on Friday, July 27, 2012
"just a murder" I'm speechless.
Anon wrote
at 12:40:40 PM on Friday, July 27, 2012
Why did he get 30 years when other scumbags get away with less. What made this crime different the only notable difference to most crimes is the fact it's a non white victim and a white murderer. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2115984/Is-Britains-white-honour-killing-victim-The-happy-headstrong-girl-17-love-racial-divide-tragic-end.html only got 17 years http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kriss_Donald 22-23 years. where is the justice ? where is the promised life means life after the abolition of the death penalty?
Salford Star wrote
at 9:05:58 AM on Friday, July 27, 2012
See J's comment below...There's no doubt that if you haven't got the time to sit in court all day to get the full facts (which we just haven't got the resources to do) you are inevitably led by the police, which has `off the record briefings'giving their version of the story, provides instant press releases and photos, cctv footage etc. Basically they almost write the story for you. With this partic instance we relied on the police press releases as the case appeared pretty cut and dried. The Salford Star does not make a habit of it. Indeed, if you ever wondered why there's so many `blue light' or police stories in the media it's because it's all there for you, provided by the police press office. Why is it so popular in the media? It's cheap journalism. Just look how the lazy media portrayed last year's riots - `organised criminals' etc until in-depth studies proved otherwise. Media courses might want to look at all this further!
m Irlam wrote
at 9:05:08 AM on Friday, July 27, 2012
J - you are an idiot, 'JUST ANOTHER MURDER' you should be ashaimed of yourself. He should never see freedom again. No doubt you will be telling us next that its everyone elses fault but his.
J wrote
at 8:47:02 AM on Friday, July 27, 2012
I completely disagree with what he has done and am glad that justice has prevailed, however the media portrayal of the case and Stapleton as a monster has been disgusting. Don't get me wrong- the act he has committed as just as bad but I recently read an account of someone who had been in the public gallery at the beginning of the trial. It gave a clear account of his backstory/upbringing and put a lot of perspective towards the comment (for example the 'psycho Stapleton' tag, which he didn't come up with himself but was called it by an officer just before the trial). A minimum 30 year sentence also seems excessive for what is 'just' a murder (not to devalue the case, but in perspective is it really any different to other gun murders?), yet the police man who murdered a protester at the G20 summit walked out of court last week a free man.
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