The UK has its spates of unlawful killings but since late December 2011 the country seems to have had more than its fair share. Murder and suicide seem to have been more prevalent that usual during the so called Season of Goodwill.
23-year-old Anuj Bidve, shot dead on Boxing Day
Anuj was a student from India, who had only lived in the UK for around three months. He was studying at Lancaster University and was visiting Greater Manchester over Christmas. He and a handful of friends, also Indian men, were clubbing. As they made their way through the streets, in the early hours of the morning, they were approached by a few men. Reports say that the men asked the time. One pulled out a gun and shot dead Anuj at close range. A single gun shot wound to the head. The man now charged with the murder stood in court yesterday, January 2, 2012, and gave his name as Psycho Stapleton. In truth he is named Kiaran Stapleton and is aged just 20. Mr Bidve's loved ones read of his murder on Facebook before the authorities had officially notified them. The family are understandably distraught and need justice.
19-year-old babysitter stabbed to death
Less than 7 hours after the murder of Anuji the bloodied body of a nineteen-year-old babysitter was discovered. She had been was stabbed to death. In spite of her screams no alarm had been raised. The mother of the child she was babysitting found her when she returned home. Art student Chatherine Wynter, also known as Katie, was stabbed to death as she looked after her four-year-old niece and three-year-old nephew. She had looked after them many times before. There were some initial suspetcs but as yet no person has been charged with her murder.
Four people killed in murder and suicide attack New Year's Day
In the North East of England murder and suicide has shocked a small community. The tragedy happened late on New Year's Day evening. A little before midnight police were called to a house in Durham. 3 women and a man were found dead. Another woman had escaped from the house. She was injured but survived. Two other people fled the horror.It is believed that the man killed the women and then turned a gun on himself. He has been named as 42-year-old taxi driver Michael Atherton. The dead women included his partner of many years, Sue McGoldrick, 47, Ms Mc- Goldrick’s sister, Alison Turnbull, 44, and her daughter Tanya, who was 24.What has shocked the most is that this man was able to legally own so many weapons. It has been reported that in the past the police have been called to the house as the man was threatening self-harm. In spite of this his gun licences were still allowed. Various weapons were at the address.
As 2011 drew to a close the Mail Online detailed 14 people who had died due to violent death over the Christmas period, in the UK. What a sorry state of affairs indeed. This did not include the four killed on January 1, 2012. The deaths happened all over the country so there is no pattern.
Sandringham Estate body found
Then today, January 3, 2011, there have been reports that a body has been discovered on the Queen's Sandringham Estate, in Norfolk. The woman's body was discovered by a walker on the public part of the estate in the late afternoon of New Year's Day. The body appears to have been in situ for some time. Police are treating the death as murder and are checking missing person's files. Members of the British Royal family have been staying at Sandringham for the Christmas holidays. They are expected to remain there until February 2012.
When I was a child murders did happen in the UK but they were few and far between. It is not just 24/7 rolling news highlighting murder more but rather increased violence which is a sad sign of the times.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog
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