Police Charge Man With Bewdley And Thornbury Murders

Today (Wednesday 22 February) Avon and Somerset Police and West Mercia Police have charged 47-year-old Stephen John Farrow with two counts of murder.

Detectives from Avon and Somerset Police have been working alongside detectives from West Mercia Police and the Crown Prosecution Service and will continue to do so.

Farrow is accused of murdering the Reverend John Suddards in Thornbury between 13 and 14 February this year (2012) and the murder of Betty Yates in Bewdley between 1 and 5 January this year (2012).

In addition the 47-year-old faces a charge of burglary relating to a property in Thornbury, between 21 December, 2011, and 3 January, 2012.

Farrow will appear at North Avon Magistrates Court on Thursday, 23 February, 2012.

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 Constabulary’s Major Crime Investigation Team said: “I would like to thank members of the public once again for the support they have shown us and for their courage in providing us with 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.”

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.”