Murder accused Stephen Farrow showed "early behavioural" problems - court
THE man accused of murdering Thornbury vicar John Suddards showed “early behavioural” problems as a child, a court has heard.
Consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Tim Rogers told Bristol Crown Court today that Stephen Farrow’s own mother “understood there to be something very wrong with him from a young age”.
The court heard that Farrow was deliberately disruptive in school, caused criminal damage and had a penchant for hurting animals - a hallmark of psychopathy.
On Monday, Dr Rogers told the court that he believed drifter Farrow suffered from a rare personality disorder which also bore psychopathic hallmarks.
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Dr Rogers was questioned in court today over his report on Farrow which covered 20 hallmarks which mirror the characteristics of a psychopath. The result of the report showed a “high” score for Farrow.
Mitigating, Peter Gower repeated Dr Rogers’ mentions of bullying, fighting, using weapons, setting fires and robbery in Farrow’s childhood.
He added that Farrow would “hurt animals on purpose”.
He said: “He [Farrow] told you [Dr Rogers] of shooting a swan with an air gun and killing people’s pets if they ‘did his head in’.”
He also said: “He set alight to a church alter at the age of ten.”
After starting the fire, the court heard that he waited outside and watched as the fire department arrived to put it out.
Mr Gower added: “He was an uncontrollable child who was sent home on his first day of school.”
The court also heard how Dr Roger’s report had highlighted “sexual deviancy” in Farrow.
Mr Gower said: “The defendant had fantasies about raping girls and bestiality with a number of animals.”
Dr Rogers said: “This sexual deviancy was likely to have impeded his ability to endure a long term relationship.”
The jury heard that the high score in Dr Roger’s report correlated with the characteristics of a psychopath.
The doctor said: “There is no doubt in my mind that he passes the threshold of psychopathy.”
The remarks added to Dr Roger’s evidence on Monday when he said he believed Farrow was trying to say he was mentally ill and needed to go to hospital.
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.
Though he admits manslaughter of 59-year-old Rev Suddards, he denies murdering the cleric at his vicarage in February with the partial defence of diminished responsibility.
The case continues.