Man accused of murder threatened to kill elderly woman, courtroom hears

First published in News

A MAN accused of stabbing a priest and a former primary school teacher to death had previously made threats to kill an elderly woman, a court heard yesterday.

Stephen Farrow, 48, admits the manslaughter of the Rev John Suddards in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denies murder, between February 12 and 15.

Rev Suddards was the brother of Bridport woman Hilary Bosworth.

Farrow also denies killing Mrs Betty Yates, 77, who was found stabbed at her cottage in Bewdley, Worcestershire, on January 4.

Farrow, of no fixed address, admits burgling another property, Vine Cottage, also in Thornbury, over the Christmas and New Year period that year.

Bristol Crown Court was told Farrow has a previous conviction for aggravated burglary, dating back nearly two decades.

The jury of eight men and four women were told Farrow pleaded guilty to an aggravated burglary at an address in Heath Road, Stourbridge, West Midlands, in August 1994.

The owner, Stella Crow, had been the victim of a burglary four years earlier in which several items were stolen from one of her lodgers.

The court was told that the owner, who was 77 in August 1994 but has since died, opened her front door to a man, “in his 20s”, who initially said he was meeting someone at the property.

He subsequently followed Ms Crow into the home where he produced a knife with a “12-inch blade”.

The trial continues.

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