Gunman 'laughed' as he shot student

Anuj Bidve was shot dead in Salford on Boxing Day last year (GMP/PA)

Anuj Bidve was shot dead in Salford on Boxing Day last year (GMP/PA)

First published in National News © by

A gunman who shot an Indian student dead at close range gave a "sarcastic laugh" after pulling the trigger, a jury has heard.

A friend of Anuj Bidve, 23, said he saw him fall to the ground face-first after hearing a bang which he initially thought was a firecracker.

Kiaran "Psycho" Stapleton, 21, walked quickly up to the group of friends in the street in Ordsall, Salford, in the early hours of Boxing Day last year. He calmly asked them three times what the time was and, when someone answered, he pulled out a gun without warning, put it to Mr Bidve's head and fired one shot.

Stapleton, of Regent Square, Ordsall, admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denies murder.

Mr Bidve's friend Nitish Jalali, 22, told a jury at Manchester Crown Court that he felt "anxious" when a man wearing a white hoodie "instantaneously" walked towards them. Mr Jalali asked his friends to ignore him.

"He came over and he asked what the time is and we did not respond the first time," he told the jury. He said he immediately asked the same question and finally got an answer of 1.30am from a member of the group on the third occasion. Then he pulled the trigger, Mr Jalali said.

"There was a bang sound, it sounded like a firecracker," he added. "Then Anuj fell flat, face-first."

Prosecutor Brian Cummings QC asked: "Did anything else happen?" Mr Jalali said: "He laughed."

Mr Cummings said: "Describe that laugh." He replied: "It was more of a sarcastic laugh."

Mr Bidve's parents, Subhash and Yogini, have flown from their home in Pune, India, to attend the trial, which is scheduled to last up to four weeks.

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