The man on trial for the murders of retired teacher Betty Yates in Worcestershire and a vicar in Gloucestershire refused to move out of his cell to go to court today.

Stephen Farrow, 48, denies killing Mrs Betty Yates, 77, who was found stabbed at her cottage in Bewdley, Worcestershire, on January 4th.

He admits the manslaughter of the Rev John Suddards between February 12 and 15 on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but denies murder.

The Judge Mr Justice Field told the jury of eight men and four women at Bristol Crown Court:

"He has told them he does not want to be present in court today. This is his right. "You should not hold this against him. He is represented by experienced counsel and I am content the trial can continue in his absence. "I will give you further directions about this in due course."

The jury is set to hear from the first live witnesses in the case about the death of Mrs Yates, who was found stabbed to death at the bottom of her stairs.

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