A 76 year old pensioner has claimed to be the 'Cross Stitch Cannibal'. Appearing in Bradford Magistrates' Court on charges of affray, Mrs Agnes Stamps shouted abuse at court officials, witnesses, and threatened to "kebab" the stenographer for being a "snotty-looking cow".
Outside the court, her son James Stamps, 54, said, "My mother has never killed anyone, let alone eaten them. She hasn't got the brains or the guts. I lay blame for this uncharacteristic behaviour firmly at the door of the Bradford Telegraph & Argus. They gave Mum the oxygen of publicity and now she is excited and showing off."
Earlier in the month, the local paper had run a series of front page scoops detailing a long-running dispute between the Committee and Members of St. Margaret-Mary's Cassock Club. Police had been summoned repeatedly to the club to investigate the decapitation of prize-winning dahlias; claims of a butchered Ave Maria; twenty Victoria sponges, entered for a competition run by the Union of Catholic Mothers, which had all been minced and a mobility scooter with its innards dissected and left on the steps of the Church Hall. It has not been established if Mrs Stamps was involved in any of these actions.
Father Vernon O'Dee, in a written statement said: "The Cassock Club was formed to preserve the tradition of needlework in the Parish. Once my cassocks had been restored to their former glory, the ladies did seventy kneelers with full hanging rings. I'd prefer not to discuss the nature of the disagreement until I've taken advice from the Bishop. I've advised the members to remain tight-lipped."
Mrs Stamps's close friend and neighbour, Ethel Smalley, 68, said, "Of course Doris is not studying criminology at university. I've no idea where you got that from. Is she violent? Well, I wouldn't trust her with a hamster - she's a bit slapdash with the Ewbank - and her close stitchwork is unrestrained to say the least. But as for being a cannibal, her dentures wouldn't take the strain."
Mrs Stamps has been remanded until 30th May.