Vicar murder suspect Stephen Farrow arrested

Stephen Farrow
Image caption There had earlier been reports Stephen Farrow had been seen in Hastings

A man wanted by police over the killing of a vicar near Bristol has been arrested in Folkestone, Kent.

Stephen Farrow, 47, was arrested at 04:20 GMT on suspicion of the murder of the Reverend John Suddards.

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

Avon and Somerset Police is working with West Mercia Police to explore any links to last month's murder of Betty Yates, 77, in Worcestershire.

Officers named Mr Farrow as a suspect on Saturday, warning the public not to approach him.

Kent Police said he had been arrested at a property in Black Bull Road in Folkestone, after officers received information on his whereabouts from a member of the public.

A spokesman said he was detained "without incident" and no-one was injured.

Late on Saturday night Sussex Police said he had been spotted in the Hastings and Rother area, about 35 miles from where he was later arrested.

Multiple stab wounds

Det Ch Insp Simon Crisp, of Avon and Somerset Police, who made the appeal for information about Mr Farrow on Saturday, said: "I would like to thank the public and all those who have helped us to find him.

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

"It was as a direct result of assistance from a member of the public that we were able to locate this man and we would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude."

The body of Mr Suddards was found by builders.

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".

A former barrister, he joined the clergy 22 years ago after a serious car crash. He moved to the Thornbury parish six months ago, having served at St Nicolas Church in Witham, Essex, for 10 years and before that at Great Yeldham parish, 20 miles away in Essex.

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

Police had arrested a 43-year-old man but said on Saturday he had been released without charge.

They also revealed they had seized a white Citroen van from a property about a mile from the vicarage late on Tuesday night.

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

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