June 25, 2022, 10:55

    Ex-soldier who murdered couple in row over parking while their kids slept jailed

    Ex-soldier who murdered couple in row over parking while their kids slept jailed

    An ex-soldier who killed a couple while their children slept upstairs in a row over parking has been jailed for life.

    Afghanistan veteran Collin Reeves was on trial for the murders of his neighbours Stephen and Jennifer Chapple at their home in Norton Fitzwarren, Somerset.

    Today he was sent down for a minimum of 38 years for the heinous crimes.

    Reeves had been rowing with the couple over designated parking on the new-build housing development since the previous May.

    The 35-year-old former Royal Engineer used the ceremonial dagger given to him when he left the Army to kill the couple.

    Reeves himself then called the police just a few minutes after the killings to confess to what he had done.

    Jennifer and Stephen Chapple were murdered


    But he later denied murder, claiming he was only guilty of manslaughter on diminished responsibility.

    Two forensic psychiatrists found he was not suffering from psychosis or acute post-traumatic stress disorder – instead only diagnosing him with only mild to moderate depression.

    A jury at Bristol Crown Court learned Reeves had also been having trouble in his own marriage.

    And less than an hour before he stabbed the Chapples his wife had asked for a trial separation.

    Reeves was unanimously convicted him of murder last Friday after a jury deliberated for five hours and 21 minutes.

    On the night of the murders, Reeves was caught on a security camera climbing the fence separating his garden from the victims' garden and entering through the back door.

    A police tent outside the Chapple family home

    Tom Wren / SWNS)

    A few seconds later Mrs Chapple can be heard screaming in terror, with Reeves shouting "die you f*** die".

    Mrs Chapple, 33, did not even have a chance to stand up from the sofa to defend herself while Mr Chapple, 36, was found close to the rear door.

    The court heard the Chapple couple and Reeves previously had a good relationship – but it deteriorated when Mrs Chapple learned to drive and bought a second car.

    Rows over parking spaces escalated to the point that both Reeves' wife Kayley and Mrs Chapple had told their friends they were anxious about bumping into each other on the school run.

    Officers at the scene in Somerset

    Tom Wren / SWNS)

    Ten days before the killings, Reeves was caught on a doorbell camera approaching Mrs Chapple outside her house following an earlier exchange between her and Mrs Reeves.

    He accused Mrs Chapple of "f***ing gobbing off you cheeky little b***h".

    The victim replies "she's the one who started it, just f*** off", to which he responds "what's that you f**king c**t, you fat b***h, you f**** … f** c***".

    After the killings, Reeves was recorded in the background of the 999 call telling someone, believed to be his mother Lynn: "I couldn't let her (or them) torment Kayley any more".

    Collin Reeves during his interviews with police

    Police handout)

    Reeves said he had little memory of the incident, but recalled sitting on the stairs in tears after the conversation with his wife.

    He claimed he did not remember taking his dagger out of the picture frame in which it was usually displayed.

    The defendant, who had previously recounted his fear of CCTV cameras and being under surveillance, said the next thing he recalled was a bright light coming on, and trying to get down on his front.

    "I felt as though I had been seen or compromised, white light was a trigger when I was a soldier, when a light goes on or somebody sets off a flare, when that white light goes up something is going to happen," Reeves said.

    Asked what else he remembered, the defendant said: "I had a feeling like it was me or them."

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    Sourse: mirror.co.uk

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