A double killer who separately murdered a vicar and a pensioner, six weeks apart, has died in jail in the North East, the Prison Service has confirmed.
Stephen Farrow, 58, was serving two whole life orders after being found guilty of the murder of retired teacher Betty Yates, 77, and 59-year-old vicar, the Reverend John Suddards, in 2012.
Farrow was said to have died at top security Frankland Prison, on the outskirts of Durham, on Monday (August 21).
He broke into the pensioner’s home in Bewdley, Worcestershire, on January 2 that year and struck her from behind with a heavy walking stick.
She fell unconscious and hit her head on the floor before he arranged her body and put a pillow over her head.
He then stabbed the retired teacher four times and left the knife in the fatal wound.
Farrow then went on to kill the Rev Suddards after the clergyman let him into his vicarage, in South Gloucestershire, on February 13, 2012.
He attacked him with knives in his doorway, leaving seven deep wounds, and when the victim tried to get back up, he kicked him back to the floor.
Despite the vicar telling him he was dying, Farrow callously replied: “F****** die then, and hurry up”, before watching him pass away.
Farrow drank beer, ate food and watched two DVDs in the vicarage before leaving the following morning.
The vicar was discovered on the morning of February 14 lying fully clothed on his back in the hallway of the vicarage surrounded by pornography, party poppers, a condom wrapper, underwear, a canvas of Jesus Christ and a mirror.
Jurors at Bristol Crown Court deliberated for eight-and-a-half hours before finding Farrow guilty of two counts of murder and one count of burglary.
The diagnosed psychopath denied both murders but admitted the clergyman’s manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, as well as a separate burglary in the same village where the vicar was killed.
Farrow was said to have an obsession with religion, claiming to have been sexually abused at boarding school by a priest, and he stated that he wanted to murder the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The ritualised killing at the vicarage in the small market town of Thornbury was the culmination of a two-month reign of terror in which Farrow murdered Mrs. Yates and threatened to kill, “Christian scum”.
His trial heard that Farrow sent a chilling text message to a friend on New Year’s Eve 2011, warning her that, “the Church will be the first to suffer”.
According to Farrow, 2012 marked the start of, “the second coming of Christ”.
In the burglary Farrow admitted, householders Alan and Margaret Pinder spent Christmas and New Year away, only to return to find a note pinned to a table by two knives, which read: “Be thankful you didn’t come back or we will have killed you, Christian scum. I f****** hate God.”