Dorset police responded "appropriately" to threats made by Rev John Suddards' killer Stephen Farrow
A POLICE force has found it did nothing wrong in its investigation of threatening text messages sent by the man who murdered Thornbury reverend John Suddards.
Homeless drifter Stephen Farrow, 48, is serving two life sentences for stabbing the 59-year-old former vicar of St Mary's Church, and retired teacher Betty Yates, 77, in Worcestershire.
During his trial at Bristol Crown Court last year, it emerged that Dorset police had been alerted to threatening text messages sent by Farrow to Michaela Rowsell, whom he met in spring 2011 when she was helping the homeless at an evangelical church in Bridport, Dorset.
In a text message he said: "As you reject me, you will suffer. I will be just round the corner and you will never know when I will be there."
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On New Year's Eve 2011, shortly before Mrs Yates was found dead, he texted: "I've already started my work and won't stop 'til I'm caught.
"You will soon know the truth and the church will be the first to suffer and I don't lie about what is about to happen. You can all go to hell. Watch the news, Piggy, because you will know it was me."
Ms Rowsell called the police, who looked into her complaint. Farrow, who was by then in Worcestershire, was not arrested at that time.
Dorset police carried out an internal review and found it had responded "appropriately" and no misconduct had been identified on the part of any officer.
In a statement, the force said: "An internal investigation has been completed and the force has concluded that Dorset police responded appropriately given the information available at the time."
Mrs Yates was found dead at her cottage on January 3 last year, while Mr Suddards was found dead in his vicarage last Valentine's Day.