‘I would have been dead in a week’: Kiaran Stapleton’s friend tells court his fear of ‘grassing’ over Anuj Bidve Salford shooting

By Mihaela Ivantcheva

Kiaran Stapleton’s friend, with him when Anuj Bidve was killed, didn’t ‘grass’ because he ‘would have been dead in a week’, a court heard yesterday.

Ryan Holden, 20, a prosecution witness who gave evidence behind a curtain for a second day, claimed calling the police anonymously would have endangered him and his family.

On the sixth day of Anuj Bidve’s murder trial, the jury at Manchester Crown Court heard Stapleton, 21, was a ‘very tidy person’.

Mr Holden confirmed that Stapleton worked nights in a factory that makes flags and banners and kept his room clean and tidy.

Mr Holden, who knew Stapleton since their school days, also confirmed that the defendant was ‘very rigid’ and ‘odd’ about what he drank.

He said that he had never seen the defendant lose his temper apart from an incident when someone mentioned his former girlfriend was unfaithful and Stapleton got angry.

Questioned by Simon Csoka QC for the defence, Mr Holden confirmed that he had not seen Stapleton carrying a gun during the time they were together.

Mr Csoka went on to suggest that the gun, which Stapleton had used was, belonged to Mr Holden and the witness gave it to Stapleton as they walked on Ordsall Lane.

The 20-year-old said earlier he was ‘shocked’ by the attack on the Lancaster University student on Boxing Day.

Mr Csoka asked him about the shooting: “Did it cross your mind even for a second that this was a prank?”

Mr Holden said: “No, not really. As soon as I heard the screaming I ran.”

He admitted wiping his skin with petrol after the shooting.

He said he had done this because he was ‘paranoid’ and not because he wanted to remove gunshot residue and destroy evidence, as Mr Csoka suggested.

Mr Holden, who was with Stapleton when the defendant shot Anuj Bidve, was arrested as a murder suspect in the early hours on December 28, but became a witness after helping capture the defendant.

Stapleton admits shooting Mr Bidve on December 26 2011 but denies murder at Manchester Crown Court. He pleads guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The trial continues.

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