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article imageMurder and manslaughter in the UK

By Alexander Baron     Jul 16, 2012 in Crime
The trial of the man accused of the murder of Indian student Anuj Bidve has heard more shocking testimony, and the jury is out in the manslaughter trial of police officer Simon Harwood.
Anuj Bidve was shot in the head on Boxing Day last year by Kiaran Stapleton, who gave his name as Psycho Stapleton the first time he appeared in court. At his trial at Manchester Crown Court, he has admitted the killing but denied murder. It may sound novel for a man to admit walking up to a total stranger and shooting him in the head for no apparent reason then deny murder, but it is his right, and anyone au fait with the English criminal law will realise what is going on.
The most cogent reason he has given for killing an innocent stranger in cold blood was that he had the biggest head.
The jury has also heard that while on remand, he carried out a vicious and totally gratuitous attack on another prisoner, Michael Sharp.
Whatever the outcome of this trial, Stapleton is clearly an extremely dangerous individual, and not only to members of the public, should he ever be released, which seems unlikely.
Meanwhile, in the capital, the jury is out in the trial of PC Simon Harwood who is charged with the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson. We have all seen the footage of the last few minutes of this unfortunate man's life. It would not be proper to say anything before the verdict except that that no one except perhaps Mr Tomlinson's own doctor could have realised that a mere shove and a fall could kill him.
Yesterday, Monday, an even more tragic crime than these two was uncovered when the bodies of a young boy and two young girls - all siblings - were found by Shropshire police. Although they were all murdered, it seems unlikely there will be a trial because the body of their father, Ceri Fuller, was found with them. The police are being their usual cautious selves and their statements have been guarded, but it seems that at this stage they are not looking for anyone else in connection with this terrible tragedy.
More about Kiaran Stapleton, Murder, Anuj Bidve, PC Simon Harwood, Ian Tomlinson
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