Jury retire in case of ex-soldier accused of murdering neighbours in Somerset

Collin Reeves Credit: Elizabeth Cook

The jury has retired to consider its verdict in the case of an ex-soldier accused of murdering his neighbours with a ceremonial dagger.

Collin Reeves, 35, stabbed his neighbours Stephen and Jennifer Chapple to death at their home in Dragon Rise, Norton Fitzwarren, on November 21 last year as their children slept upstairs.

He admits manslaughter but denies murder on grounds of diminished responsibility and has been on trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Reeves and his family were neighbours to the Chapples but the two families had been involved in dispute over parking since May 2021.

Stephen and Jennifer Chapple's children were found asleep in the house where their parents were killed Credit: Facebook/Linkedin

During the trial, the court heard how Reeves climbed over his neighbour's fence and stabbed them to death with a ceremonial dagger while their children slept upstairs.

Jurors also heard a recording of the ex-soldier detailing the stabbings to a 999 operator minutes after killing the married couple.

When officers arrived at the scene, the couple’s children were still asleep upstairs.

Collin Reeves

While in custody after his arrest, Reeves claimed he had been struggling with his mental health since returning from Afghanistan, where he served in the Army until 2009, jurors heard.

Reeves denied murder, claiming the offence was one of manslaughter with diminished responsibility due to his diagnosis of depression.

The jury has today (June 16) retired to consider its verdict and are due to return