Betty Yates murder accused previously threatened elderly woman, court hears (From Kidderminster Shuttle)
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Betty Yates murder accused previously threatened elderly woman, court hears
4:12pm Friday 5th October 2012 in News
THE man accused of stabbing Betty Yates to death at her home had previously made threats to kill an elderly woman, a court heard today.
Stephen Farrow, aged 48, has denied any involvement in the murder of Mrs Yates, a retired teacher from Bewdley, who was found dead at her cottage on January 4.
He admits the manslaughter of the Reverend John Suddards in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, on the grounds of diminished responsibility between February 12 and 15, but denies murdering the clergyman.
Farrow, of no fixed address, also admits burgling another property, Vine Cottage, Thornbury, over the Christmas and New Year period.
Bristol Crown Court was today told Farrow has a previous conviction for aggravated burglary, dating back nearly two decades.
The jury of eight men and four women were told Farrow pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary at an address in Heath Road, Stourbridge, West Midlands in August 1994.
The owner, Stella Crow, had been the victim of a burglary four years earlier in which several items were stolen from one of her lodgers.
The court heard the owner, who was 77 in August 1994 but has since died, opened her front door to a man, "in his 20s", who initially said he was meeting someone at the property. He subsequently followed Ms Crow into the home where he produced a knife with a "12-inch blade".