Updated: Monday, 20th November 2017 @ 5:34pm

The chilling smile: 'Psycho' killer Kiaran Stapleton smiles for photo hours after murdering Indian student Anuj Bidve

The chilling smile: 'Psycho' killer Kiaran Stapleton smiles for photo hours after murdering Indian student Anuj Bidve

By Mancunian Matters staff

This is the chilling image of Salford killer Kiaran Stapleton smiling for a photo only hours after murdering Indian student Anuj Bidve.

The photo was taken by Stapleton, 21, in the Campanile Hotel he checked into the following day in an attempt to hide following the crime.

While there, Stapleton joked with his friend Ryan Holden who was with him on the night of the shooting – and is now a key prosecution witness – on Blackberry Messenger.

In one exchange, Holden said to him: "You are off it. They won't find you there innit."

Stapleton replied: "I hope they don't lol.

"I wish I had more money to base myself there two days or summat."

Stapleton, from Ordsall, Salford, admitted killing Mr Bidve, a complete stranger to him, in the early hours of Boxing Day last year, but denied murder.

However the jury returned the verdict of guilty today.

And it has since emerged that Stapleton was on BAIL for an alleged road rage incident at the time of the shooting.

Anuj Bidve's father bowed his head as the verdict was read and his mother weeped. Police officers also cried openly at the news.

Stapleton remained impassive during the verdict and showed no emotion.

After the verdict, the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West, Nazir Afzal, expressed his sympathy for the parents.

"My thoughts and sympathies are very much with them," he said.

"Anuj Bidve's murder in the early hours of Boxing day last year was a terrible crime which shocked and appalled us all.

"It's all the more tragic because it was completely senseless."

Stapleton had told the court during the trial: "To be honest, I'm not bothered.

"I love prison. I watch Coronation Street. I have got a fat canteen. I love prison. Lock me up for 65 years."

Anuj's family are planning to lay flowers at the scene of his murder this evening.

The court reconvenes for sentencing tomorrow at 11am.

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