*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Murder trial begins

12 October 2012

PA

Crime scene: Police and security guards outside the vicarage in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, where the Revd John Suddards was found murdered, in February 

Crime scene: Police and security guards outside the vicarage in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, where the Revd John Suddards was found murdered, i...

THE trial of the man accused of the murder of the Revd John Suddards (News, 24 February) began at Bristol Crown Court on Wednesday of last week.

Stephen Farrow, aged 48, has admitted the manslaughter of Mr Suddards, who was Vicar of Thornbury, in Gloucestershire, on the grounds of diminished responsibility because of his mental state; he denies murder.

Mr Farrow has also been charged with the murder of Betty Yates, a retired teacher from Worcestershire found stabbed to death in her home on 4 January, which he denies.

He has pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary at a property in Thornton, when a note was left pinned to a table with knives reading: "Be thankful you did not come back or we would have killed you Christian scum. I . . . hate God." The prosecution said that the note "meant nothing" to the owners of the property, who were not religious.

Mr Suddards was found dead at his vicarage on 14 February ( News, 17 February). He had suffered multiple stab wounds. The prosecution told the jury that items intended to "harm the reputation and memory" of the Vicar had been left surrounding his body. An open Bible was left on his chest.

The prosecution argued that Mr Farrow "is not insane and knows the difference between right and wrong".

 

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available

 

SAVE THE DATE

Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website

 

ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times

 

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)