Bradford accused gives name as 'crossbow cannibal'

The BBC's Danny Savage describes the scene in court

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A man charged with the murders of three Bradford women has referred to himself as the "crossbow cannibal" in court.

Stephen Griffiths, 40, is accused of murdering prostitutes Suzanne Blamires, Shelley Armitage, and Susan Rushworth.

Mature student Mr Griffiths, of Thornton Road, Bradford, was remanded in custody by magistrates and later by a judge at the city's crown court.

Recent events have been described in some of the tabloid press as the "crossbow cannibal killings".

When asked to confirm his name by magistrates, Mr Griffiths told the court he was "the crossbow cannibal".

Relatives in court

Asked for his address, he replied: "Erm... here I guess."

Relatives of some of the victims were in court for the magistrates' court hearing. Some wiped away tears at the start of the proceedings.

After appearing before magistrates, Mr Griffiths was then taken to Bradford Crown Court.

During this appearance, which lasted only 10 minutes, Mr Griffiths - flanked by security officers - spoke only to confirm his name.

He will next appear at the crown court via video link on 7 June.

Artist's impression of Stephen Griffiths at Bradford Magistrates' Court

Stephen Griffiths was arrested in Bradford on Monday

He is accused of murdering Ms Blamires, 36, between 20 May and 25 May; murdering Ms Rushworth, 43, between 22 June, 2009, and 25 May this year, and murdering Ms Armitage, 31, between 25 April and 25 May this year.

Police said body parts found in the River Aire on Tuesday were from Ms Blamires, who had lived in Barkston Walk, Allerton, and was last seen on 21 May.

Ms Armitage, also from Allerton, has been missing since 26 April and Ms Rushworth, from the Manningham area of the city, disappeared on 22 June last year.

Mr Griffiths is reported to be a psychology graduate undertaking postgraduate research in criminology at Bradford University.

He was arrested on Monday at his third-floor flat, which is on the edge of the city's red light district and a short distance from Bradford city centre.

Map of where the women were last seen

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