A homeless drifter was this afternoon jailed for life after being found guilty of murdering 77-year-old retired teacher Betty Yates, who was stabbed to death at her secluded home on the banks of the River Severn.
Stephen Farrow, 48, stabbed Mrs Yates in the head and neck and beat her with her own walking stick.
He was also found guilty of murdering the Rev John Suddards, who was found stabbed to death in his vicarage in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire.
Farrow, who showed no emotion as the verdicts were returned, was told by a judge at Bristol Crown Court that he would never be released.
After murdering Mrs Yates, Farrow tidied up after himself at her Riverscroft cottage in Bewdley and drew the blinds before leaving her lying at the foot of the stairs in a pool of blood.
Mrs Yates was only discovered when friends became concerned after she did not turn up for a walking group in the town.
Farrow, who had fished in the river near Mrs Yates’s home a number of times and knew the area well, denied being anywhere near Bewdley when Mrs Yates died between January 2 and 4.
But a jury of eight men and four women at Bristol Crown Court today found him guilty of murder following 11 hours of deliberation after a four-week trial.
Farrow had admitted the manslaughter of Mr Suddards, 59, but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility due to mental health problems including him being diagnosed as a psychopath.
The court previously heard Farrow stabbed the vicar in the chest, shoulder and neck and positioned a Bible, painting of Jesus and mirror around him.
He then spent the night in the vicarage watching DVDs and drinking beer with the body yards away.
Mrs Yates leaves two children, Hazel and David.
In a statement, her family said: “We should all be relieved and thankful that Stephen Farrow is off the streets of Britain today.”