Life in jail for killer who left Colne man (55) scarred for life

Paul McKiernan (S)
Paul McKiernan (S)

A PENDLE man was shocked to find a violent youth who had seriously assaulted him in Manchester has since shot a man dead.

Mr Paul McKiernan was attacked by Kiaran Stapleton, who has just been given a life imprisonment for murdering Indian student Anuj Bidve (23) from Lancaster University.

Paul McKiernan head injury (S)

Paul McKiernan head injury (S)

Mr McKiernan (55), who lives in the Waterside area of Colne, works at a top music shop in Manchester and was on his way home five years ago when he had a row with Stapleton, who then hit him with a can, cutting his head open and giving him a black eye. He ended up being taken to hospital by ambulance and it was weeks before he recovered. And he has a permanent scar on his forehead.

Stapleton appeared in court for assaulting Mr McKiernan and was given 200 hours’ community service and ordered to pay £250 compensation.

On Boxing Day 2011, Stapleton (21) shot Anuj Bidve on the same street where he assaulted Mr McKiernan - Ordsall Lane, Salford. Anuj died and Stapleton was arrested and admitted manslaughter but denied murder. However, he was then convicted of it, and was given a life sentence with a minimum of 30 years in jail.

Mr McKiernan said: “It was a shock when he attacked me - an unexpected level of violence. When we saw the murder in the paper it was a bit scary. It made me feel it could have happened to me. I was pleased with the sentencing - I was grateful he had got sent down. The prospect of him walking the streets again is quite daunting.”

Back in 2007 when it happened, Stapleton was only a youth but was around six feet tall and was quite broad. He has become thinner since.

Mr McKiernan, with his wife Beverly - both key figures at Colne Dramatic Society - were going to their car to get home when the incident happened. Mr McKiernan said: “His friends wanted us to do something. They wanted us to leave the private car park gates unlocked so they could get people to pay them to get in. And we didn’t want to do it. He lost his rag and struck me. He smashed a Seven-Up can in my face twice when I was in the car. The car was covered in blood and I was covered in blood. He just wandered off.

“The others involved with him were shocked by what he had done.”

Mr McKiernan, who works at music giant Forsyth’s in Deansgate, said: “Fortunately, my glasses did protect my eye when he struck me. I was given good treatment at hospital. It did take weeks to heal up.

“Violence is a normal part of Stapleton’s life. In terms of the murder, it’s not necessarily a surprise at the end of the day because of his attitude at the time - no remorse, no guilt and no fear of authorities.”