THE trial of Stephen Farrow, who is accused of murdering Thornbury vicar the Rev John Suddards, got underway today.
A jury of 12 was sworn in at Bristol Crown Court this morning and the prosecution is due to begin outlining its case tomorrow at 10am.
High Court Judge Mr Justice Field warned members of the jury not to carry out their own investigation of the case and to base their judgement solely on the evidence presented to them during the proceedings.
He said: “You are not allowed to undertake any inquiries about the case or investigation. Do no use the internet to obtain information.
“You will try this defendant only on the evidence you hear in court. These instructions I am giving you are extremely important.” Farrow, 47, of no fixed address, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Suddards in Thornbury between February 12 and 15, and not guilty to the murder of retired teacher Betty Yates in Bewdley, Worcestershire, between January 1 and 5.
The court was told by Michael Fitton, prosecuting, that particularly “sensitive photographs” of the victims would be printed in black and white and line drawing format before being shown to the jury.
The trial is expected to last until October 19.