Thornbury vicar murder trial: Suspect Stephen Farrow appears in court for the first time
THE man suspected of killing Thornbury vicar John Suddards has been remanded in custody after appearing at court for the first time.
Stephen Farrow, 47, was produced at North Avon Magistrates’ Court this morning accused of murdering Rev Suddards between February 13 and 15, and murdering retired teacher Betty Yates in Worcesterhsire between January 1 and January 5.
Some details were also divulged about a third charge against him – that of a burglary at Vine Cottage, Thornbury, over the festive period.
Farrow is alleged to have stolen cash, jewellery and a radio between December 21 and January 3, from the house not far from the vicarage in which 59-year-old Rev Suddards was found stabbed on Valentine’s Day morning.
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Farrow, of no fixed address, emerged from the cells at 10.40am.
Dressed in a pale blue sweater and grey-green trousers, his 6ft-plus frame towered above the three female custody officers alongside him.
During the hearing, Farrow spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and that he was of no fixed abode.
The 47 year old was arrested in Folkestone, Kent, on February 19 following a tip-off from the public after Avon and Somerset Police launched a nationwide manhunt.
Mr Suddards, 59, had been the vicar at St Mary’s Church since last July and was found by workmen who had borrowed a key to get into the vicarage.
Mrs Yates, 77, was also found stabbed, at the bottom of the stairs at her cottage in Bewdley, on January 2.
District judge Joti Bopa-Rai fixed a bail application for tomorrow, at Bristol crown Court, and a preliminary hearing for March 9. She said: “The two charges of murder you face can only be tried at the crown court. I am sending your case to Bristol Crown Court. The burglary matter, as it is linked, will also go to the same court.”