A former Afghan soldier who stabbed his neighbors in their home while their children were sleeping upstairs after a parking dispute.
Colin Reeves stabbed the young married couple 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, was involved with the couple in a long-running dispute over parking allocated to 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.
He was caught on a security camera as he climbed the fence separating his garden from the victim’s garden, and entered 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.
Reeves called police to tell him what he had done, but he later denied the murder and instead pleaded guilty to lesser charge.
On Friday, a Bristol Crown Court jury found him guilty of double murder after a five-hour, 21-minute debate.
Reeves did not react when the verdict was read, but his wife, Kelly, cried and managed to hold her husband’s hand in the dock glass space for a few seconds before taking him to the cells. ۔
Chappell’s family, sitting in the public gallery, held hands as the verdict was reversed, and many of them shed tears.
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 *** ”.
Reeves also had trouble getting married, and less than an hour before the chapel was attacked, Mrs. Reeves asked her husband to separate the case.
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 was being watched or compromised, the white light was a stimulus when I was a soldier, when a light goes on or someone flares up, when that white light goes up something happens 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. “
At the police station, he appeared confused and gave his name as “Lance Corporal Reeves, Sir” and his service number.
Two forensic psychiatrists concluded that Reeves was not suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or psychosis, but was diagnosed with mild and mild depression, respectively.
Both said he could suffer from “dementia amnesia” – a condition in which domestic murderers are unable to take action.
For the prosecution, Dr. John Sandford stated: “It has nothing to do with depression. That’s what you did. “
Mr Justice Gurnham adjourned Reeves’ sentencing hearing to Tuesday and thanked the jury for working on the case.