London: There was no evidence that Indian student Anuj Bidve was shot dead by a Briton because of his race, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has said after one of the most meticulous and fast-paced investigations in recent times.
The GMP has been lauded for its investigation into the unprovoked and motiveless killing of Bidve by Kiaran 'Psycho' Stapleton, who was yesterday held guilty of murder by a jury after a five-week trial at the Manchester Crown Court.
Stapleton is due to be sentenced later today.
Detective Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle, who led the GMP investigation, said yesterday: "Our investigation found no evidence that Anuj was targeted because of his race.
"We have no evidence that racist comments were made and there appears to be no motivation for Stapleton other than tragically Anuj and his friends were in the wrong place at the wrong time".
Mary Doyle added that "I have personally not investigated a case like this ever before...There was absolutely nothing remarkable about Stapleton's history and nothing that would ever have suggested he could commit such a cold-blooded, random killing".
Discounting the race angle, Ms Doyle said the investigators were able to prove that Stapleton got a tattoo very soon after he killed Bidve, "which we believe may have been some sort of boast or badge of honour. If that is true, such a cold and brazen act tells its own story about what sort of man he is".
Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley said: "Subhash and Yogini Bidve worked incredibly hard to send their son Anuj to England so he could get a good education and have the best possible start in life.
"However, their dreams were shattered because of the brutal and callous actions of Kiaran Stapleton".
Chief Superintendent Kevin Mulligan, divisional commander for Salford said: "Anuj came to England to study and fulfil his and his family's dreams, so to have those dreams taken away in such painful and senseless circumstances is something no-one should have to endure".
He added: "Anuj's murder caused complete shock and outrage in our community. People in Ordsall, and across Salford, were absolutely appalled this happened on their doorsteps and there was an outpouring of anger and grief from everyone who lives here.
"What also struck me in the days and weeks that followed was that our close-knit community pulled together to assist the investigation.
"The fact that hundreds of people in this area came to pay their respects at Anuj's vigil shows the strength of feeling in this community".
Mr Mulligan said it was important to stress that it was information that came directly from the community that led to Stapleton being charged.
In the days after the murder, the police personally visited every home in Ordsall "and the overwhelming feeling was one of wanting to secure justice for the family".
Senior Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: "Greater Manchester Police have done an outstanding job. It is a model for other police forces to follow. They swiftly apprehended Anuj's killer and brought him to justice within just 7 months"