JURORS in the trial of a homeless drifter accused of the murders of a vicar and a retired teacher have been sent out to start their deliberations.

Stephen Farrow, 48, who has been known to visit Bridport and Weymouth, admits the manslaughter of the Rev John Suddards but denies murdering the clergyman between February 12 and 15 this year on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

He also denies the murder of Betty Yates between January 1 and 5 this year. Both victims were found stabbed in their homes.

Farrow, of no fixed address, admits the separate charge of burgling Vine Cottage in Thornbury, South Gloucester-shire, between December 21 last year and January 3 this year.

Drifter Farrow was a regular visitor to the vicarage at St Mary’s Church in Bridport. He was also seen on CCTV visiting a convenience store in Weymouth town centre after the death of Rev Suddards.

Mr Justice Field ordered the jury at Bristol Crown Court to retire to consider their verdicts.