Police were warned about psychopath who killed vicar

Police were warned about a sadistic anti-Christian psychopath who went on to kill a church vicar and a woman, it has emerged.

Dorset Police will now hold an internal investigation to see whether their response to the threat was appropriate.

Before the murders Stephen Farrow had left a written message which threatened to kill “Christian scum”. The note also said he ‘hated’ God.


He had previously travelled to Canterbury with the intention of killing Archbishop Rowan Williams, but was put off by the level of security.

And he sent a threatening text message on New Year’s Eve last year warning that “the Church will be the first to suffer”, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Farrow murdered Revd John Suddards and retired teacher Betty Yates and was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison earlier this month.


Farrow left items including homosexual pornography, party streamers and condoms around Revd Suddards body in an attempt to humiliate the clergyman, who Farrow had initially wanted to crucify.

In response to the threatening message from Farrow, his friend Michaela Rowsell contacted Dorset Police, the court heard.

An officer responded but the force now says the “matter will be reviewed internally to ensure that senior officers are satisfied that appropriate action was taken on New Year’s Eve 2011”.


Farrow had been diagnosed with a psychopathic personality disorder but in finding him guilty of murder, the jury found he knew what he was doing when he stabbed both victims.

The judge told Farrow: “I am satisfied that in your case a whole life sentence is an appropriate sentence in each of these dreadful, horrific killings. In my judgement, you acted sadistically.”