NEWS
17/10/2012 09:38 BST

Stephen Farrow Trial: Accused Murderer 'Wanted To Crucify Victim'

A homeless drifter accused of the murdering a vicar and a pensioner had wanted to crucify one of his victims, a court heard yesterday.

Stephen Farrow, 48, told a mental health nurse that he also wanted to murder the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, but the security around him was "astronomical".

He described how he stabbed Rev John Suddards, 59, at his vicarage in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire in February this year and had originally planned to crucify him.

A court drawing of Farrow at an earlier court appearance

Farrow also gave details of killing retired teacher Betty Yates, 77, at her remote cottage in Bewdley, Worcestershire weeks before Suddards died.

Bristol Crown Court heard how Farrow sent a chilling text message to a friend warning her that the "church will be the first to suffer" just days before Yates died in January.

Michaela Rowsell, known to friends as Ky and nicknamed 'piggy' by Farrow, said she was "petrified" after receiving the text message on New Year's Eve and phoned police.

The text, timed at 8.25pm said: "Ky, you don't give a shit and never have. So as you reject me you will suffer.

"I will be just around the corner and you will never know when I will be there.

"I've already started my work and won't stop until I'm caught. You don't and never knew just how disturbed I am.

"You will soon know the truth and the church will be the first to suffer and I don't lie about what is about to happen.

"As I say it was always going to end like this. I'm surprised the police have not been to see you but they soon will.

"So f*** you, the church and the system. You can all go to hell. Watch the news piggy because you will know it was me."

Jurors also heard that Farrow would become "aggressive and assertive" in discussing Christianity and claimed he had been abused by a priest at a boarding school aged 11.

Richard Evans, who assessed Farrow following his first court appearance at North Avon Magistrates' Court, said: "He made it clear without prompting he had not done this for the notoriety or for any kind of recognition.

"He talked about the second coming of Christ. He talked about some conflicts across the world and linked to this to the second coming of Christ.

"He said this would not all happen in 2012 but 2012 was the beginning of this process."

Evans said that Farrow described himself as "prophetic" and said he was able to predict events before they happened.

"He said he had travelled to Canterbury to see whether he could kill Rowan Williams, the Archbishop," Evans said.

"He told me that the security was astronomical and would be difficult to achieve."

The nurse said Farrow told him he had originally planned to crucify Suddards but had left a bag containing a hammer and nails in Eastbourne.

Farrow said he had gone to St Mary's on the evening of February 13 but Mr Suddards was "reluctant" to let him into the vicarage, so he waited outside while he made him some food.

"He knew he was going to do it," Evans said.

"He then accused the vicar of sexually abusing him. He said the vicar didn't deny those allegations."

Evans went onto explain that Farrow was not accusing Suddards of sexually abusing him but priests and the church in general.

Farrow then told him what happened next: "I then stabbed the vicar."

The nurse added: "Without prompting he gave a description of the incident.

"He told me he watched him die and there was a significant amount of blood."

Farrow then said he placed a mirror and a canvas picture of Jesus Christ next to Suddards's body before spending some time "trashing" the vicarage to make it look like a burglary.

Evans told the jury that Farrow also admitted killing Yates at her cottage in Bewdley.

"He stated quite clearly that he had not killed the person on January 1 because it was a Sunday and he had killed her the following day," Evans said.

The court also heard that Farrow told doctors he had been diagnosed with Severe Dangerous Personality Disorder (SDPD) when serving a prison sentence for aggravated burglary in 2001.

He also said he had been diagnosed with cancer lymphoma while in prison but had not seen a doctor since.

Farrow was again not present in court having refused to leave Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire where he is being held.

He denies two counts of murder but has admitted Suddards's manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Farrow has also pleaded guilty to a burglary of a cottage in Thornbury over the Christmas and new year period where a note was left threatening to kill "Christian scum".

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