Accused Gives His Name as 'Crossbow Cannibal' Criminology Student Appears in Court over Prostitute Murders

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Byline: Alistair Keely ;Dave Higgens

CRIMINOLOGY student Stephen Griffiths dubbed himself the "crossbow cannibal" yesterday as he appeared in court accused of murdering three prostitutes.

The former public schoolboy made two appearances yesterday - before magistrates and then a crown court judge - accused of killing Suzanne Blamires, Shelley Armitage and Susan Rushworth, who all went missing in Bradford.

When he was asked for his name at Bradford Magistrates' Court Griffiths, 40, replied: "The crossbow cannibal."

Asked for his address, Griffiths, who was wearing a black shirt and navy blue jeans, replied: "Erm ... here I guess."

Relatives of some of the victims were in court for the hearing.

Some wiped away tears at the start of proceedings. Others stared intently at Griffiths, who sat fidgeting and touching his head, or staring silently at the floor.

Four hours later Griffiths made his second appearance of the day at Bradford Crown Court. This time he spoke only to confirm his full name.

As he was driven away from the crown court in a van, a crowd which had gathered outside the building shouted abuse at the vehicle.

Griffiths is charged with murdering Ms Blamires, 36, between May 20 and May 25; murdering Ms Rushworth between June 22 2009 and May 25 this year, and murdering Ms Armitage between April 25 and May 25 this year.

At the end of Griffiths's crown court appearance he was remanded in custody.

There was no application for bail.

Griffiths will appear before Bradford Crown Court again on June 7 via video link from Wakefield Prison.

Police said yesterday that the remains of Ms Blamires were found on Tuesday afternoon in water just a few yards from where the busy Otley Road crosses the River Aire in Shipley. Ms Blamires was last seen on Friday, while Ms Armitage, 31, has been missing since Monday, April 26, and Ms Rushworth, 43, disappeared on June 22 last year. …