Farrow pleads not guilty to murder

Stephen Farrow has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Reverend John Suddards Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

A man has denied murdering a clergyman in his own vicarage. The body of the Reverend John Suddards was found in Thornbury earlier this year.

Stephen Farrow, of no fixed address, pleaded not guilty to that murder, and to the murder of the retired Midlands school teacher Betty Yates.

It was in the middle of February that builders arrived to find the body of a vicar, stabbed to death in his own vicarage.

The Rev John Suddards has only been in Thonbury, near Bristol for six months, but hundreds paid their respects at a special service in the town.

The Rev John Suddards has only been in Thonbury, near Bristol for six months Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

Several weeks earlier,the body of former school teacher Betty Yates, also with stab wounds, was found at her home in Worcestershire.

After a police appeal, a man was arrested at this house in Kent, and today 47 year old Stephen Farrow denied murdering Mrs Yates between January 1 and 5 this year, adn the Rev Suddards between February 12 and 15.

Stephen Farrow was not in court - instead, he followed proceedings via a videolink from Lon Lartin prison in Worcestershire, where he's being held. He could be heard, in a quiet but clear voice, pleading not guilty to the two murder charges. He was remanded in custody till October the 8th , when his trial will begin here at Bristol Crown Court.

Farrow, of no fixed address did however plead guilty to an unconnected charge of burglary at a cottage in Thornbury between December 21 last year and January the third this year.