Police hunt for Stephen Farrow over Reverend John Suddards murder

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Media captionDet Ch Insp Simon Crisp: "He is a dangerous man and under no circumstances should he be approached"

Police investigating the murder of a vicar have named a "dangerous" suspect and appealed for help in finding him.

Det Ch Insp Simon Crisp said Avon and Somerset Police wanted to speak to Stephen Farrow over the stabbing of the Reverend John Suddards near Bristol.

He said anyone who saw the 47-year-old, who is white and 6ft 4ins tall, should not approach him but should call 999.

Mr Suddards, 59, was found stabbed to death in his vicarage at St Mary's Church, Thornbury, on Tuesday.

A 43-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder has been released on police bail.

Police said Mr Farrow goes by a variety of names - including Steven Lewis and Adrian Capel Farrow - and travels widely and regularly.

'Exploit the church'

He is known to frequent Norfolk, the Midlands, the South East, Devon and Cornwall.

He often travels by bus but is also known to walk and hitchhike, and could be living rough in a tent.

Police have warned Mr Farrow, who has a scar on his right brow, may seek to exploit the charity of the church community.

"We need the public's help with this, we do not know where he is," said Det Ch Insp Crisp.

"However, he is a dangerous man and under no circumstances should he be approached."

Police investigating Mr Suddards' death seized a white van shortly after the 43-year-old man, who has not been named, was arrested.

Image caption John Suddards was found stabbed to death inside his vicarage in Thornbury on Tuesday

The Citroen van was taken away from a property in Knapp Road, around a mile (1.6km) from the vicarage, at about 23:30 GMT on Tuesday.

Reports suggested a man had been sleeping in the vehicle. Officers also searched the house and grounds around the property on Friday.

Police have appealed again for information about a man seen sitting on the pavement outside St Mary's Church on Monday evening between 18:00 and 20:00 GMT. He was of average build and wearing dark clothing.

Detectives are thought to be trying to piece together Mr Suddards' personal and social life and are believed to have contacted clergy at his former parish.

In a statement released by police, the vicar's family said: "We are devastated with the news of John's untimely and shocking death.

"We would appreciate being left in peace at this time while we struggle to come to terms with what has happened."

'Multiple stab wounds'

The body of Mr Suddards, a former barrister, was found by builders at his vicarage on Castle Street.

Avon and Somerset Police said the builders, on a planned job, had been given a key by a caretaker.

A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Suddards had died from "multiple stab wounds".

Mr Suddards joined the clergy 22 years ago following a serious car crash.

He moved to the Thornbury parish six months ago and previously spent a 10-year spell in the Diocese of Chelmsford in Essex.

About 300 people took part in a church service at Thornbury Baptist Church on Friday to mark Mr Suddards' death.

Church officials said they hoped the service would bring some comfort to the local community.

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