England

John Suddards and Betty Yates deaths: Man remanded in custody

Stephen Farrow
Image caption Stephen Farrow is also charged with burglary

A 47-year-old man charged with murdering a retired teacher and a vicar has been remanded in custody.

Stephen Farrow is accused of murdering Betty Yates, 77, who was found stabbed to death in her cottage in Bewdley, Worcestershire, on 4 January.

He is also accused of stabbing to death the Reverend John Suddards, 59, at his vicarage in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, on 14 February.

He is due to appear at Bristol Crown Court on Friday for a bail hearing.

During the hearing at North Avon Magistrates' Court in Yate, South Gloucestershire, Mr Farrow spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and that he was of no fixed address.

The 47-year-old, who was arrested in Folkestone, Kent, on Sunday following a tip-off from the public, also faces a charge of burglary relating to a property in Thornbury between 21 December and 3 January.

Image caption Betty Yates and the Reverend John Suddards were both killed in their homes

Mrs Yates was found at the bottom of the stairs at her home on the banks of the River Severn.

Police said she had been stabbed and beaten with her walking stick.

Mr Suddards was found stabbed to death at his home next to St Mary's Church in Castle Street, Thornbury, by builders who had arrived for a planned job.

A post-mortem examination revealed the vicar had died from "multiple stab wounds".

Mr Suddards had spent more than 10 years at St Nicolas Church in Witham, Essex, before moving to Thornbury six months ago.

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