"Bizarre scene" greeted those who found Thornbury vicar John Suddards
Thornbury vicar John Suddards was found dead in a bizarre scenario with his cloak covering a window of his ransacked vicarage, a jury heard.
When concerned visitors opened up his home in Castle Street, they found the 59-year-old churchman laying on his back in a pool of blood in his hallway next to a painting of Christ and a mirror in which both body and picture was reflected, Bristol Crown Court was told.
He had a bible laid on his chest, a calendar showing the naked torso of a man on his lower body below which were three DVDs, and string from a party popper on him.
A knife was by his left elbow, by his left hip was G-string underwear and there was food strewn on the floor, as well as a condom in an unopened packet.
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There was also a shoe print in blood nearby.
Drifter Stephen Farrow, 48, admits that, over Christmas last year, he burgled Vine Cottage in Thornbury.
But he denies that he went on to murder 77-year-old Betty Yates at her home in Worcestershire in January, and then Rev Suddards at his vicarage in February.
The court heard builder Karl Hardman and plumber Richard Gough arrived at the vicarage to carry out work, and when they got no answer the vicarage was opened by Tim Giles, secretary of the parochial church council.
Mr Giles made a statement in which he accounted how he found the reverend dead.
He said: "I saw the hallway was in a mess. There was bread on the floor and I saw John's feet in the hallway.
"It was quite dark and the curtains were all closed.
"His arms were folded upwards, towards his body, and he was very cold.
"I retreated and said to the other two: 'I think he's dead.'
"They said: 'Are you sure?'."
Mr Hardman gave a statement in which he said he saw a black-handled knife under the reverend's head.
The court heard police and paramedics were scrambled to the scene and Ann Spencer-Norris, a Great Western Ambulance Service technician, could clearly see Rev Suddards was deceased.
The case continues.