AN INTERNAL review has cleared police officers after threatening text messages were sent to a Bridport woman by a drifter who later went on to become a double murderer.

Stephen Farrow sent the message to friend Michaela Rowsell on New Year’s Eve in 2011 warning that he was going to hurt someone and that the church would be first.

Two months later he went on to kill the Rev John Suddards, in Thornbury, near Bristol, and pensioner Betty Yates, 77, in Worcestershire. Police held an internal investigation which has now concluded that the force responded appropriately and that there was no misconduct.

A spokesman said: “Dorset Police received a call from a woman on New Year's Eve 2011 reporting that she had received threatening text messages from a man making veiled threats against her and the church. “This man went on to commit two murders. “Both victims were linked to the church. “An internal investigation has been completed and the force has concluded that Dorset Police responded appropriately given the information available at the time. No misconduct has been identified.”