TV programme tells chilling tale of Betty Yates murder in isolated Bewdley cottage

Malvern Gazette: MURDERED: Betty Yates. MURDERED: Betty Yates.

A NEW television documentary will tell the chilling tale of the Betty Yates murder case in Worcestershire.

Jennifer Meierhans, who covered the story for our sister newspaper the Kidderminster Shuttle, and Annabella Harvey-Lawrence, of the town’s Harvey’s the Jewellers, who saw Stephen Farrow shortly before he murdered Mrs Yates in January 2012, are due to appear on When Life Means Life.

The series begins in April on the Crime and Investigation Network and will look at the small number of the more than 87,000 British prisoners who will never be freed, including Farrow.

Farrow, aged 48, was jailed for life for killing widow Betty, 77, in her riverside cottage in Bewdley and then six weeks later murdering the Rev John Suddards at his vicarage in Gloucestershire.

Mrs Harvey-Lawrence said it “sent my blood cold” when she discovered she had come face to face with the man who went on to become a double killer.

“(Farrow) brought some jewellery in to sell to me and, instinctively, I immediately had a very bad feeling about him,” she said. “My suspicions arose because of his general persona – I felt intimidated by him.

“It didn’t register with me who he was until the police came to see me some months later and I handed over the jewellery, which assisted in the case. “It sent my blood cold to think about what he did and how calm he was standing in front of me. I think if you are sentenced to life, it should mean life.”

Miss Meierhans said the story had “shaken” a close-knit community. “People were really shocked and frightened,” she said. “From the first day we heard there was a murder we had such a huge response because Betty was so well known and active in the community. It was a really harrowing situation, where a vulnerable elderly lady was stabbed to death in her own home, and people kept telling me what a lovely lady she was.”

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