Vicar murder suspect arrested

 

A 47-year-old man who was wanted over the death of a clergyman at his vicarage was today arrested on suspicion of murder, Kent Police said.

Stephen Farrow was detained at a property in Folkestone at 4.20am after officers received information on his whereabouts from a member of the public.

Police launched a nationwide manhunt yesterday after the Rev John Suddards, 59, was found stabbed to death at his vicarage in the South Gloucestershire town of Thornbury on Tuesday.

Officers from Avon and Somerset Police, in conjunction with Kent Police, went to an address in Black Bull Road where Farrow was arrested on suspicion of murder and taken into police custody.

A Kent Police spokesman said he was detained "without incident" and no one was injured.

His arrest comes after Sussex Police said he was spotted last night in the Hastings and Rother area of East Sussex.

A 43-year-old man who was arrested on Tuesday in connection with Mr Suddards' murder was yesterday freed on bail.

The alarm was raised by workmen who arrived at the vicarage next to St Mary's Church and found it was locked.

The news of Mr Suddards' death sent shockwaves through the clergy and the close-knit community, which lies about 11 miles north of Bristol.

Detectives are trying to put together a picture of Mr Suddards' personal and social life and are believed to have contacted clergy at his former parish.

The St Mary's vicar took up his post last July, having come from the diocese of Chelmsford in Essex.

A former barrister, Mr Suddards moved to the area after serving at St Nicolas Church in Witham, Essex, since 2001 and before that at Great Yeldham parish, 20 miles away in Essex.

Police seized a white Citroen van from a property in Knapp Road just hours after the man who had been released on bail was first arrested.

It is believed a man in his 40s had been sleeping in the van.

Officers have also appealed for information about a man, of average build and wearing dark clothing, who was sitting on the pavement outside St Mary's Church on Monday evening between 6pm and 8pm.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Crisp, who is leading the investigation into Mr Suddards' death for Avon and Somerset Police, said: "Early this morning, on our behalf, Kent Police arrested Stephen Farrow on suspicion of the murder of the Reverend John Suddards in Thornbury last week. His arrest follows a nationwide appeal for information which we released yesterday.

"I would like to thank the public and all those who have helped us to find him. It was as a direct result of assistance from a member of the public that we were able to locate this man and we would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable