CPS authorise charges in Thornbury vicarage murder

22/02/2012

The Crown Prosecution Service has today authorised Avon and Somerset and West Mercia police to charge Stephen John Farrow, 47, with the murders of Betty Yates, 77, and Reverend John Suddards, 59.

Both Mrs Yates and Rev. Suddards were found stabbed to death in their homes, Mrs Yates on 4 January and Rev. Suddards on 14 February. 

CPS Senior District Crown Prosecutor Siân Sullivan said: "Having reviewed this case in line with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, I have today decided that there is sufficient evidence to charge Stephen Farrow with the murders of Betty Yates and John Suddards. I have also authorised a charge of burglary at a separate address in Thornbury.

"I would like to remind all concerned that Stephen Farrow now stands charged with criminal offences and has the right to a fair trial. It is very important that nothing is said, or reported, which could prejudice a trial."

Officers would like to thank members of the public for all their support on this investigation to date.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Crisp from Avon and Somerset Constabularys Major Crime Investigation Team said: "Once again it has been the contribution of a member of the public that has made the difference - my thanks go to that person for their courage in providing us with that vital information."

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Jamieson of West Mercia Police said: "I would also like to express my gratitude to those members of the public who have helped us and responded to our appeals and I would also still encourage people to come forward and talk to us if they have information which could assist our inquiry.

"We still have a strong police presence in Bewdley and hope this will help reassure people that the area, and indeed the whole of the West Mercia, remains a very safe place in which to live, work and visit."

Stephen Farrow will appear at North Avon Magistrates Court on 23 February.