Betty Yates murder accused threatened to kill Stourbridge woman 18 years ago, court hears (From Stourbridge News)
Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting SB NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Betty Yates murder accused threatened to kill Stourbridge woman 18 years ago, court hears
12:09pm Wednesday 10th October 2012 in News
THE man accused of stabbing to death retired teacher Betty Yates at her Worcestershire home had previously made threats to kill an elderly woman in Stourbridge, a court heard.
The jury at Bristol Crown Court heard Stephen Farrow pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary at the home of Stella Crow in August 1994.
The court heard the 77-year-old homeowner, who has since died, was threatened with a knife with a “12-inch blade” and told she might be killed.
In her statement about the incident, parts of which are disputed by the defence counsel, Ms Crow said: “He asked for money and jewellery. Then he said that if anyone came in, he would kill me and the dogs. He said, ‘I have killed before’.
“He was holding the knife above my head in a stabbing stance.”
Farrow, of no fixed abode, denies any involvement in the death of 77-year-old Mrs Yates who was found at her remote country cottage in Bewdley on January 4.
The 48-year-old has admitted the manslaughter of Rev John Suddards in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, (between February 12 and 15) on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denies murder.
He also admits burgling another property in Thornbury over the Christmas and New Year period.
At that property a note was found, pinned to the kitchen table with knives, which read: “Be thankful you didn’t come back or we would have killed you, Christian scum. I hate God.”
Michael Fitton QC, prosecuting, said forensic evidence, including links to footwear worn by Farrow at the time of his arrest in February, connected all three cases.
The trial continues.