Ex-serviceman stabbed his neighbors to death over parking

An Afghan man who stabbed his neighbors to death while sleeping on the terrace of their young children after a long-running dispute over parking has been jailed for at least 38 years. Colin Reeves stabbed Stephen and Jennifer Chappelle six times each at his home in Dragon Rise, Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton in Somerset, on the evening of November 21 last year.

Reeves, also of Dragon Rise, was involved in a row with the couple over designated parking at the new-build housing development since last May. The 35-year-old former Royal Engineer used the ceremonial dagger given to him upon leaving the army to kill the couple.

Reeves himself called the police minutes after the murders to find out what he had done, but later denied the murder, claiming he was guilty of manslaughter on little responsibility. But two forensic psychiatrists found that he did not suffer from psychosis or acute post-traumatic stress disorder, and diagnosed him with only mild to moderate depression.

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A jury at Bristol Crown Court learned that Reeves was having trouble with his marriage as well, and less than an hour before Chappell was stabbed his wife asked for a trial separation. Reeves was unanimously convicted of murder last Friday after the jury deliberated for five hours and 21 minutes.

On the night of the murders, Reeves was caught on a security camera climbing a fence separating his garden from the victims’ garden, and entering through a back door. A few seconds later Mrs Chappelle can be heard screaming in terror, with Reeves shouting “Die you f****** die”.

Mrs Chappell, 33, did not even get a chance to stand from the couch to defend herself, while Mrs 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.

Jennifer and Stephen Chappelle were murdered by Colin Reeves
(image: PA)

The dispute over parking space escalated so much that Reeves’s wife, Kylie, and Mrs. Chappell both told their friends that they were worried about colliding with each other in a race to school. Ten days before the murders, Reeves was caught on camera at a doorbell near Mrs Chapel outside their home after an earlier exchange between him and Mrs Reeves.

He accused Mrs. Chappelle of “f***ing gobbing off of you cheeky little bitch”. The victim responds “He’s the one who started it, just the f*** off”, to which he replies “What is that you f****** c***, you fat bitch, you f*** off”. ***** * … f ****** c ***”.

Following the murders, Reeves was recorded in the background of a 999 call, telling someone, believed to be his mother, Lynn, “I can’t make him (or them) torment Kylie any more”.

Reeves said he remembered little about the incident, but remembered sitting on the stairs in tears after a conversation with his wife. He claimed that he did not remember taking his dagger out of the frame of the picture in which it was usually displayed.

The respondent, who had earlier told about his fear of CCTV cameras and being under surveillance, said that the next thing he remembered was a bright light coming on, and was trying to get down in front of him. Reeves said, “I felt as though I had been seen or compromised, the white light was a trigger when I was a soldier, when a light is turned on or there is a flare, when that white light goes up something happens.” gonna happen,” Reeves said. , Asked what else he remembered, the defendant said: “It seemed to me that it was me or they.”

Prosecutor Adam Feist QC asked: “When your wife said you needed to separate, did you, at least, blame Jennifer because she hurt (your wife)?”

Mr. Feist said: “I can’t let ’em or ’em torment ‘Kylie’ – I want to suggest that this is a perfect expression of why you went to your neighbors that night. I’m going to suggest that This is true.”

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