UK & World News
Killer Shot Indian Student 'For Notoriety'
A psychologist has suggested that killer Kiaran Stapleton shot an innocent student to enhance his own reputation.
Dr Adrian West interviewed Stapleton following the killing. He told a jury that the defendant might have carried a gun to achieve some form of notoriety.
"Gun-related violence can be seen as a means of re-affirming identity and masculinity," he said.
Stapleton admits manslaughter but denies murdering Anuj Bidve on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The Lancaster University student was on his way with a group of friends to Boxing Day sales in Manchester last year.
Dr West said he did not consider the defendant to have learning difficulties and that at the time of the shooting he had a "clear mental state" and was able to make rational judgements.
The jury have already heard that Stapleton attacked a fellow inmate at HMP Manchester with a bucket of hot water laced with melted sugar so it would stick to the victim's skin.
Dr West said that following the assault, Stapleton said: "I am in here for murder not shoplifting. Guys see me differently now. Kept to myself before. Now they respect me. Guards are more concerned. They say I am unpredictable."
Experts have been discussing Kiaran Stapleton's mental state in the moments leading up to the death of 23-year-old Mr Bidve.
Dr West, called by the prosecution to give evidence, said that in approaching the victim and his friends "various witnesses describe him as not loud, not aggressive, casual indeed, walking in a hip-hop style.
"Mr Stapleton, seeing the group of students, was aware that they represented no imminent threat nor that there was any account of provocation towards him."
The trial continues.