1. ITV Report

Man found guilty for murder of Betty Yates

Stephen Farrow has been found guilty for double murder Photo: ITV Central

A 48-year-old man has been found guilty for the murders of retired teacher Betty Yates from Worcestershire and Reverend John Suddards from Gloucestershire.

Stephen Farrow denied stabbing Betty Yates, 77, at her home in Bewdley, in January.

He admitted the manslaughter of the Reverend John Suddards, 59, the following month but denied murder on the ground of diminished responsibility.

Betty Yates the ex teacher was found stabbed to death Credit: ITV Central

The retired teacher Mrs Yates was beaten with a walking stick and stabbed.

She was killed in her isolated riverside cottage after spending an afternoon at the home of two close friends.

Geoffrey and Pauline Cartwright were among the last people to see Betty alive.

"I helped her on with her coat when she went. Waved her off at the drive. She went off in merry mood as one might say. And we didn't see her again. So sad. Such a nice person."

Stephen Farrow was eventually arrested for her murder.

A man who had lived in lodgings in Bewdley on and off for three years.

He acted as a water bailiff - checking on fishermen along the River Severn.

Farrow often used the footpaths that ran alongside Betty's house.

He had a reputation as a drifter, sometimes living rough in the nearby woods.

One angler told Central Tonight he'd made threats to some fishermen...and they'd been in fear of him.

As police investigated the killing of Betty Yates...there were more chilling discoveries.

A month later, the body of The Reverend John Suddards was found stabbed to death at his vicarage in Thornbury near Bristol.

"In a sermon, he actually said that a vicar is in a very vulnerable position. He is available for people and as a result, there is pressure on what might happen to him. One might see it as a premonition really."

During the trial the jury were told he had psychopathic tendencies, planned to crucify Mr Suddards and at a nearby burglary he left a note: Be thankful you did not come back or I would have killed you Christian scum. Hate God.

During the trial the judge said it was agreed by the prosecution and the defence that Farrow suffered from a psychopathic personality disorder.

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