A man has admitted the Boxing Day killing of an Indian student but denied murder.

Kiaran Stapleton, 21, walked up to complete stranger Anuj Bidve, 23, and shot him once in the head at point-blank range in Salford, Greater Manchester, in the early hours of 26 December last year.

Appearing at Manchester Crown Court, Stapleton pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

He is expected to go on trial for murder later this month.

Stapleton's trial is expected to last up to 12 days.

Mr Justice Henriques QC banned reporting of today's proceedings other than the pleas.

The trial date, set for 25 June, will be held before Mr Justice King.

Stapleton, who was wearing a grey jogging top and bottoms, was flanked in the glass-framed dock by four security guards.

He sat calmly throughout the hearing with his hands clasped.

Mr Bidve's parents, Subhash and Yogini, were sat to the right of the dock, out of sight of the defendant.

They listened intently as Stapleton gave his pleas and was remanded in custody ahead of the trial.

Following the hearing, Mr Bidve's family said in a statement: "We have made the journey from India to the United Kingdom because it was very important to us to hear, in person, Kiaran Stapleton's plea.

"This is the first time we have returned to the UK since Anuj was taken away from us on Boxing Day of last year, and the first time we have come face to face with the man charged with his murder, so clearly this is a very emotional and difficult time for us.

"We have today heard in person that Kiaran Stapleton admitted killing Anuj.

"We know there is tremendous amount of interest from the media both at home in India and here in the United Kingdom.

"As there will be a trial later this month, we cannot say anything further at this time and we would ask that the media respect both our privacy and the integrity of the court process.

"At the conclusion of the case, we will be happy to speak to the media. Thank you."

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