Ex-soldier who stabbed neighbours to death after parking row has jail term reduced

Collin Reeves stabbed his neighbours to death as their children slept upstairs

A former soldier who stabbed his neighbours to death as their children slept upstairs after an ongoing parking row has won an appeal to shorten his minimum sentence.

Collin Reeves stabbed married couple Stephen and Jennifer Chapple six times each at their house in Dragon Rise, Norton Fitzwarren, on 21 November 2021.

To kill the couple, Reeves, 36, a former Royal Engineer, used a ceremonial dagger given to him when he left the Army, appeal judges heard.

He called police minutes after the killings to confess.

  • Listen to 999 call Reeves made after the double murder

Reeves denied murder but admitted manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.

Two forensic psychiatrists found he was not suffering from psychosis or acute post-traumatic stress disorder but diagnosed mild to moderate depression.

A jury was told Reeves had also been having trouble in his marriage and, less than an hour before he stabbed the Chapples, his wife asked for a trial separation.

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

He was unanimously convicted of murder following a trial at Bristol Crown Court and on 21 June last year was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 38 years.

Today (March 21), three appeal judges cut that minimum term to 35 years after concluding that 38 years was “excessive”.

Lord Justice Holroyde, Mr Justice Kerr, and Judge Timothy Spencer had considered Reeves’ challenge at a Court of Appeal hearing in London.

Lord Justice Holroyde said the issue was whether Mr Justice Garnham correctly balanced mitigating and aggravating factors.

Those factors included Reeves’ remorse, depression, military service and confession.

Barrister Jo Martin KC, for Reeves, told appeal judges there were “significant mental issues” and described what happened as “mania” and “10 minutes of extraordinary behaviour”.