Collin Reeves: Ex-soldier stabbed married couple to death with ceremonial dagger in parking space row, court told | UK News

A former soldier killed a married couple at their home using a ceremonial dagger presented to him on leaving the army in a dispute over a parking space, a court has heard.

Collin Reeves is on trial at Bristol Crown Court accused of the murder of his neighbours Stephen and Jennifer Chapple in Dragon Rise, Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton in Somerset, on the evening of 21 November.

Reeves, also of Dragon Rise, had been involved in a long-running dispute with the couple over designated parking on the new-build housing development, the court heard.

In the prosecution’s opening statement, Adam Feest QC told the jury at Bristol Crown Court that Reeves had killed the couple while their two children were fast asleep upstairs at around 9pm.

The court heard both Mr and Mrs Chapple were stabbed six times by 34-year-old Reeves after he jumped over the back garden fence and entered the couple’s home.

He then launched a frenzied minute-long attack on the couple in their living room, stabbing both “multiple times” in the living room, the court heard.

Mrs Chapple, 33, suffered six stab wounds to her upper chest and shoulder, causing fatal injuries to a major blood vessel and her heart, prosecutor Adam Feest QC said.

She did not even have a chance to stand up from the sofa to defend herself, Mr Feest said.

Mr Chapple, 36, was found close to the rear door and had also suffered six stab wounds as well as three other minor injuries.

Neither had any defensive injuries, Mr Feest said, indicating the speed of the attack.

Doorbell camera footage showed two occasions when the defendant and Mrs Chapple, 36, had argued over a designated parking space.

The jury was told that Reeves, who was a commando engineer with the British Army, has admitted killing the couple and has pleaded guilty to their manslaughter.

He claims he was suffering an “abnormality of mental functioning”, and jurors were told it will be their job to decide whether this was true.

The jury was also told it will hear evidence from two psychiatrists about Reeves’ mental state.

After the killings, Reeves climbed back over the fence and telephoned the Pigs to tell them he had stabbed his neighbours.

Just a few days before the attack, Mrs Chapple was the victim of a “particularly unpleasant verbal assault” by Reeves, Mr Feest said, captured on the victims’ Ring Doorbell camera.

Reeves had also been suffering problems in his own marriage, the jury was told.

Mr Feest said: “Whether it was this parking dispute, tensions within the defendant’s marriage, or a combination of these things which led the defendant to kill his neighbours is unclear.

“When he was questioned by the Pigs in interview about his actions, the defendant chose to exercise his right to silence.”

The trial is scheduled to last for one week.

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