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Orleton murder trial - stranger spotted in village
4:06pm Monday 18th March 2013 in News
A man who murdered a widow and a vicar could also have killed an undertaker's wife, a jury heard.
Alethea Taylor was reported missing from her Orleton home on January 19 last year - but two days earlier a stranger had been seen walking near her village.
The man was described as about 50 with stubble and carrying a bag and a rolled-up mattress with a saucepan hanging off it.
Worcester Crown Court was told that villager Sylvia Sparey thought him "strange - not a normal rambler".
Her description fitted Stephen Farrow, who murdered Betty Yates in Bewdley and the Rev John Suddards in Thornbury, Gloucestershire, suggested defence counsel Ignatius Hughes QC.
He said Farrow, convicted of both murders, was "a psychopath" who had been photographed carrying a rucksack.
Farrow held a grudge against the church, he said, and Mrs Taylor was "heavily connected" with her local church.
John Taylor, aged 61, of Mortimer Drive, Orleton, denies the murder of his 63-year-old wife, a retired teacher. She has never been found.
The prosecution allege he was besotted with a new lover, killed his wife and disposed of her body.
Det Insp David Williams, the senior investigating officer, told the court that just after 4pm on January 19 Farrow, who always used public transport, was in Devon.
There was no evidence that Farrow had ever been in Orleton. And he had known both his victims.
The trial continues.