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Court hears of the moment Rev John Suddards's body was found
2:52pm Thursday 11th October 2012 in News
A PARISHIONER and two workmen have told a jury of their shock at discovering the body of a murdered vicar at his home.
They found Rev John Suddards lying on his back in the hallway of his vicarage in Thornbury, south Gloucestershire, in February this year.
Bristol Crown Court heard that Tim Giles, secretary of St Mary's parochial church council, had gone to the vicarage with a spare key to let plumber Richard Gough and builder Karl Hardman into the property.
The two workmen had failed to get an answer from the vicarage on the morning of February 14.
After entering the house, Mr Giles saw blood on the floor and thought he could also see a knife, nine to 10 inches overall, with a six inch blade and handle.
Builder Karl Hardman then went inside and saw what he described as a cloth or piece of paper covering the lower half of Mr Suddards's body, and a bible on his chest.
Stephen Farrow, aged 48, admits the manslaughter of the vicar on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denies his murder.
Farrow, a drifter, of no fixed address, also denies the murder of retired teacher Betty Yates, 77, who was found stabbed at her cottage in Bewdley, Worcestershire in January.