A former Afghan soldier who stabbed his neighbors while their young children were sleeping upstairs after a long-running parking dispute has been jailed for at least 38 years.
Colin Reeves stabbed Stephen and Jennifer Chappell six times at their home in Dragon Rise, Norton Fitzgerald, near Taunton in Somerset on the evening of November 21 last year.
Reeves, also of Dragon Rise, had been in a row with the couple since last May at the designated parking lot on the newly built housing development.
The 35-year-old former Royal Engineer used a formal dagger given to him when he left the Army to kill the couple.
Reeves himself called the police a few minutes after the murder and confessed to the crime, but later denied the murder, claiming that he was guilty of a minor responsibility.
But two forensic psychiatrists found he did not suffer from psychosis or severe post-traumatic stress disorder, and was diagnosed with only mild to moderate depression.
A Bristol Crown Court jury found that Reeves also had problems with his marriage, and less than an hour before he attacked Chapels, his wife asked him to withdraw from the case.
After five hours and 21 minutes of deliberations, the jury unanimously convicted Reeves of murder last Friday.
On the night of the murder, Reeves was caught on a security camera climbing the fence separating his garden from the victim’s garden, and entering through the back door.
After a few seconds Mrs. Chappell can be heard screaming in fear, “You die” with Reeves.
Mrs. Chappell, 33, did not even get up to defend herself, while Mr. Chappell, 36, was found near the back door.
The court heard that Chappell and Reeves had a good relationship at first, but it deteriorated when Mrs. Chappell learned to drive and bought another car.
The queues in the parking lot grew so large that Reeves’ wife Kelly and Mrs. Chappell both told their friends that they were worried about colliding with each other in the school race.
Ten days before the murder, Reeves was caught on camera at the doorbell outside Mrs. Chappell’s house after an earlier exchange between her and Mrs. Reeves.
He accused Mrs. Chappell of “teasing your little bitch.”
The victim responds “he started, just f *** off”, to which he replies “what are you f ****** c ****, you fat bitch, you ** *** * … f ****** c *** “.
Following the murder, Reeves’ 999 call was recorded in the background that he was telling someone, who is believed to be his mother Lin, “I told him (or them) Kelly. Can’t hurt
Reeves said he has little recollection of the incident but remembers sitting on the steps crying after talking to his wife.
He claimed that he did not remember drawing his dagger out of the picture frame in which he was usually shown.
Defendant, who had previously mentioned his fear of CCTV cameras and surveillance, said the next thing he remembered was a bright light, and was trying to get down from in front of him. ۔
“I felt like I had been seen or compromised. The white light was a stimulus when I was a soldier. When a light goes on or someone flares up. Reeves said. .
Asked what else he remembered, the defendant said: “I felt as if it were me or he.”
Adam Fest QC asked the prosecution: “When your wife said you needed a divorce, did you at least, in part, blame Jennifer because she (your) The wife was tortured? ” The prosecutor asked.
Mr Fest added: “I can’t let him or her ‘hurt Kelly’ – I just want to suggest that this is a good indication of why you went to your neighbors that night. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. “