Ex-public schoolboy charged with prostitute murders

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The Independent Online

A former public schoolboy was charged tonight with the murder of three prostitutes.

Stephen Griffiths, 40, will appear before magistrates tomorrow, charged with murdering Suzanne Blamires, Shelley Armitage and Susan Rushworth, who all went missing in Bradford.

The announcement by the Crown Prosecution Service followed confirmation that body parts found in a river belonged to missing prostitute Ms Blamires.

West Yorkshire Police said the remains of Ms Blamires were found on Tuesday afternoon in water just a few yards from where the busy Otley Road crosses the River Aire in Shipley - about five miles from her home.

Griffiths, who is reported to be a psychology graduate undertaking postgraduate research in criminology at Bradford University, was arrested on Monday at his home on the edge of the city's red-light district.

Ms Blamires was last seen on Friday, while Ms Armitage, 31, has been missing since Monday April 26, and Ms Rushworth, 43, disappeared on June 22 last year.

Her mother, Nicky Blamires, 55, tonight described her daughter as "bright and articulate", who went to college and was training to be a nurse.

"Unfortunately my daughter went down the wrong path and she did not have the life she was meant to have.

"She was a much-loved daughter, sister and niece and what has happened to her will haunt me to the day I die," she said.

Ms Blamires' home in Barkston Walk, in the Allerton area of Bradford, is just a few streets from that of Ms Armitage, who was last seen on CCTV footage walking in Rebecca Street, in the red-light district.

Today, people who knew Ms Armitage said she was a "bubbly, lovely" girl.

The third woman, grandmother and mother-of-three Ms Rushworth, was last seen on June 22 last year, after getting off a single-decker bus near her flat at Oak Villas, in the Manningham area of Bradford.

Neighbours said she used to visit elderly residents at Oak Lodge old people's home.

Last year, Ms Rushworth's 23-year-old son James appealed for information about his mother, who suffered from epilepsy and was receiving help for her heroin addiction when she disappeared.

Griffiths lived in a third-floor flat in Thornton Road, just a short distance from Bradford city centre.

Tonight police were continuing to search the flats complex and an area around it was sealed off.

He had lived in the flats for about 13 years. He attended the private Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Wakefield in his teens.