Manchester

Anuj Bidve murder accused Kiaran Stapleton at crown court

Kiaran Stapleton
Image caption Kiaran Stapleton was remanded in custody until his next hearing in March

A man accused of murdering Indian student Anuj Bidve in Salford on Boxing Day has been remanded in custody again after appearing at crown court.

Kiaran Stapleton, 20, appeared at Manchester Crown Court via videolink from prison. He was remanded until the next hearing on 20 March.

At the magistrates' court on Monday, he referred to himself as "Psycho Stapleton" when asked his name.

Lancaster University student Mr Bidve was shot in the head at close range.

The 23-year-old had been visiting friends in Greater Manchester over the festive period.

As they walked along Ordsall Lane, Salford, at about 01:30 GMT on 26 December, Mr Bidve was shot. He died later in hospital.

'Fill in gaps'

At Tuesday's hearing, Mr Stapleton appeared on screen from HMP Manchester.

Judge Michael Henshell remanded him in custody until his plea and case management hearing, also by videolink, on 20 March.

Image caption Anuj Bidve was shot at close range in Ordsall Lane, Salford

A provisional date was set for 25 June at Manchester Crown Court.

Mr Bidve's father Subhash described Anuj as a "loving son, a super-caring brother and first and forever a friend for many".

The Bidve family are expected to arrive in Greater Manchester on Wednesday, and are expected to visit Ordsall Lane on Thursday.

It is hoped the family will be able to return to India on Friday with Mr Bidve's body, a spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said.

Mr Bidve senior had been critical of the way British and Indian authorities initially handled the case after learning of his son's death on social-networking site Facebook.

Two senior officers from Greater Manchester Police travelled to India and met the Bidve family in his home town of Pune.

Ch Supt Russ Jackson said the officers had been able to "fill in some of the gaps in understanding" about Mr Bidve's death.

He said: "Anuj's family are very understandably keen to have Anuj returned to them.

"In the UK following charge of a person the defence are entitled to a second post-mortem examination.

"This is taking place this morning, the 3rd January. After this Her Majesty's Coroner will then be able to consider release of Anuj.

"Anuj's family is aware of this and the detailed reasoning behind it."

On Monday evening a crowd of about 200 people gathered in Ordsall Lane, Salford, to hold a candle-lit vigil for Mr Bidve.

Five people have so far been arrested by police in connection with the inquiry. Three teenagers, one aged 16 and two aged 17, have been released on bail.

A 19-year-old man has had his bail "cancelled", police said.

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