Man Held Over Murders Of Pensioner And Vicar

February 19th, 20128:53 pm @


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7:38pm UK, Sunday February 19, 2012

A man arrested in connection with the murder of a vicar is also being questioned over the death of a 77-year-old woman earlier this year.

Reverend John Suddards, 59, was found stabbed to death at his vicarage in Thornbury, Gloucestershire, last Tuesday.

Betty Yates, who was 77, was found dead at her Bewdley home near the River Severn in January.

Stephen Farrow, 47, was detained in Folkestone initially in connection with the vicar’s murder.

Stephen Farrow

Stephen Farrow was arrested in Kent early on Feb 19

It is understood he is also being questioned over the death of Mrs Yates.

A West Mercia Police spokesman said: “It can also be confirmed that, following close liaison with Avon and Somerset Police, detectives have formally linked the murder of Mrs Yates to the murder of the Reverend John Suddards.”

News of Rev Suddards’ death sent shockwaves through the clergy and the close-knit community, which lies about 11 miles north of Bristol.

Parishioners turned out for a special service on Sunday at the vicar’s church of St Mary’s.

Rev Suddards, who had been a barrister beforehe entered the clergy, took up his Gloucestershire post last July, having come from the diocese of Chelmsford in Essex.

After the death of Mrs Yates, her son and daughter made an emotional appeal for help to bring their mother’s killer to justice.

Hazel Costello, along with her brother David Yates, said: “We are completely bewildered as to who could carry out such a savage attack on our mother.

“That this should have happened in her home makes this even more difficult to bear.”

Locations of Rev John Suddards and Betty Yates deaths

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