Mental disorder defence for man accused of vicar murder
THE man accused of murdering vicar and retired teacher John Suddards carried out a burglary in which a note threatening to "kill Christian scum" was pinned to the table with knives, a court heard yesterday.
Stephen Farrow, 48, admits the manslaughter of the Reverend John Suddards but denies murdering the clergyman between February 12 and 15 on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
His also denies the murder of Betty Yates between January 1 and 5. Both victims were found stabbed to death in their homes.
Opening the case, prosecutor Michael Fitton QC told the jury of eight men and four women that Farrow, of no fixed address, has admitted a separate charge of burgling Vine Cottage in Thornbury between December 21, 2011, and January 3, 2012.
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Mr Fitton told the jury a note was found on the kitchen table after the burglary that read: "Be thankful you did not come back or I would have killed you, you Christian scum."
Prosecutor Michael Fitton said Farrow admitted manslaughter, claiming a partial defence arising from his mental condition.
But he added the prosecution believed Farrow's mental disorder did not diminish his responsilibilty.
The trial continues.