Revealed: £50,000 reward claimed over info leading to conviction of Kiaran Stapleton in Indian student killing

Exclusive by Mihaela Ivantcheva

The £50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the Boxing Day killer of Indian student Anuj Bidve has been claimed, MM has learned.

Anuj, 23, was shot dead at point-blank range in Ordsall, Salford, in the early hours of Boxing Day 2011 – and Kiaran Stapleton was convicted of the killing last summer.

The reward was originally announced in the hope that witnesses will come forward with vital clues leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the death of the micro-electronics student.

A spokesperson from the Greater Manchester Police confirmed yesterday that at least part of the reward has been claimed but refused to disclose any further information ‘in order to protect the anonymity of the witness’.

Kiaran Stapleton, from Salford, was arrested in the early hours of December 29 and consequently charged with the murder of Anuj.

Following an intense month-long trial at Manchester Crown Court in July last year, the jury rejected Stapleton’s defence of diminished responsibility due to his medical condition of anti-social personality disorder and found the 21-year-old guilty of murder.

He was sentenced by Mr Justice King to life imprisonment with a minimum of 30 years serving time before parole is considered.

The gun used in the shooting is believed to be a Glock 9mm semi-automatic and ballistic expects say that it has not been used in other shootings. The gun has not been traced and it is still not known how Stapleton came about it.

“The murder weapon has never been recovered, and the investigation to locate that weapon remains ongoing,” a spokesperson for the GMP added.

“There are however no active proceedings or investigations ongoing relating to Anuj’s murder itself, but we are still actively looking for the weapon,”

Detectives have not been able to fully explain the killing and establish any clear motive behind it.

Following the sentencing of Stapleton, Detective Superintendent Mary Doyle, who led the investigation, said that there was ‘no evidence of any motive at all’.

The police ruled out gang crime, hate crime and theft as possible motives of the ‘apparently unprovoked, impulsive and senseless’ shooting.

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