Jurors shown chilling moment ex-soldier enters garden before killing neighbours

Jurors have heard a chilling recording of a former soldier telling a 999 operator: “I went round with a knife, I’ve stabbed both of them,” after killing his neighbours.

Ex-commando Collin Reeves is on trial at Bristol Crown Court where he denies the murder of Jennifer Chapple, 33, and her 36-year-old teacher husband Stephen on November 21 last year.

Reeves claims he was suffering an abnormality of mental functioning at the time of the killings and has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Jurors were played a clip of the defendant’s 999 call made minutes after he went round to the married couple’s home and attacked them with a ceremonial dagger he was given when he left the Army.

The operator at one point mistook Reeves, 35, for the injured party, asking him whether he was harmed before he told her: “I went round with a knife, I’ve stabbed both of them.”

Asked whether the couple were awake when he left, he replied: “No, I think they were sort of drifting.

“He was lying on the floor, she was lying on the sofa.”

Footage was also played to jurors of Reeves climbing a fence and entering his neighbours’ home moments before killing them.

When officers arrived at the scene, the couple’s children were still asleep upstairs at the home in Dragon Rise, Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton in Somerset.

Reeves had been involved in a long-running dispute with the couple over designated parking on the new-build housing development.

Just 10 days before the killings, Reeves allegedly verbally abused Mrs Chapple outside her house following an earlier exchange between the victim and Reeves’s wife Kayley Reeves.

His mother Lynn Reeves said in a filmed Pigs interview played earlier to jurors that her son is a “closed book” who “never shares his emotions”.

He served in the Army between 2002 and 2017, including in Afghanistan, but never spoke about what he saw there, she said.

It was claimed that Reeves appeared to have been struggling with his mental health since he returned from Afghanistan.

Lynn Reeves wept as she attended court in person to give live evidence on Friday, detailing how she found Reeves “white as a ghost” on the night he killed his neighbours.

She said she had been phoned by an “hysterical” Kayley Reeves saying “they’re dead”.

“He was white as a ghost, he was just white and he just didn’t look like Collin. He was just standing, he just looked right through us as if he wasn’t there and said ‘I had to protect my family’,” she said.

The trial continues.

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