The biggest crime story in Britain on Boxing Day was the shooting dead of an Indian student in Salford, Greater Manchester for no apparent reason. Anuj Bidve was studying at Lancaster University and was passing through the area when he was gunned down in the street, shot in the head at close range. One of the many lines of inquiry of any competent police investigation would of course have been a possible racial motive, but was it really necessary for the police to call this a hate crime? A man who shoots a stranger in the head is committing a love crime, perhaps?
A number of arrests were made promptly, and yesterday, January 2, twenty year old Kiaran Stapleton appeared before magistrates where he gave his name as Psycho Stapleton. In view of the gravity of this case, it would be improper to draw any inference from this, but when mature student Stephen Griffiths made his first court appearance he gave his name as The Crossbow Cannibal. He was gaoled for life in December 2010 after being convicted of the murders of three prostitutes
In the current case, Stapleton's next appearance will be at Manchester Crown Court; last night, a candlelit vigil was held for the victim. His parents have criticised both the British and the Indian authorities because they first heard of their son's death through Facebook. The names of crime and accident victims are generally withheld by the legal authorities in Britain, the USA and probably most countries, until the next of kin have been informed, but in this age of instantaneous communications at the press of a button, this cannot always be guaranteed.
This investigation is ongoing, and Greater Manchester Police have put up a Â£50,000 reward
Another Boxing Day murder was that of 19 year old babysitter Catherine Wynter, who although black appears not to have been the victim of a hate crime, which will of course be precious little comfort to her mother, who found her daughter's body; she had been stabbed to death at the Borehamwood home of her sister. Tony Bushby, an eighteen year old local man, has been charged with her murder
Last but by no means least, a third victim was murdered, this time in view of hundreds of shoppers in London's Oxford Street, during the Boxing Day sales. Seydou Diarrassouba
was also black and likewise the victim of a non-hate crime. He was stabbed in the heart, though evidently not with a Cupid's arrow.
His death is said to be possibly gang-related, which can mean almost anything, including mistaken identity. The stabbing resulted in 17 arrests for offences including grievous bodily harm, robbery, intent to supply drugs, burglary, forgery and handling stolen goods. A large amount of cash was also seized.
As if that were not enough, the festive season ended with the murder of 27 year old Joshua Green
; the father of 2 was killed at a New Year's Eve party in Sheffield, a city once known for steel but now known mostly for snooker.
He appears to have been stabbed to death as a result of a confrontation at the Queens Road Social Club in the small hours of New Year's Day. To date, no arrests appear to have been made.
Joshua Green was also black, but in the name of diversity and equality, four people are also now reported dead in a shooting/suicide in Durham, and all three victims as well as the perpetrator appear to be white. Happy New Year