Man found guilty of vicar's murder

Published 02 November 2012
A homeless man has been jailed for life for the murder of a vicar and a retired teacher.

Stephen Farrow, 48, of no fixed address, killed the Reverend John Suddards at his vicarage in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire in February.

He pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Farrow was also found guilty of murdering Betty Yates, a 77-year-old retired teacher, at her home in Bewdley, Worcestershire, in January.

The jury heard how Reverend Suddards had been stabbed to death and an open Bible placed on his chest.

Pornography, condoms and party poppers were found on and by the body.

The court heard that these items had been intended to "harm the reputation and memory" of the clergyman.

Farrow admitted a separate charge relating to the burglary of a cottage in Thornbury.

A note had been found inside the house saying: "Be thankful you did not come back or I would have killed you, you Christian scum. I f*****g hate God."

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