Jurors have heard a chilling recording of a former soldier telling a 999 operator “I went around with a knife, I stabbed them both” after killing his neighbors.
Ex-command 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 suffered from a mental abnormality at the time of the murders and admitted to the manslaughter on the grounds of diminished criminal responsibility.
The jury was played a clip of the defendant’s 999 call minutes after he went to the couple’s home and attacked them with a ceremonial dagger he received when he retired from the army.
The operator once mistook Reeves, 35, for the injured man and asked him if he was hurt before telling her: “I went around with a knife, I stabbed them both.”
When asked if the pair were awake when he left, he replied: “No, I think they were kind of adrift.
“He was on the floor, she was on the sofa.”
Footage was also played to the jury in which Reeves climbed over a fence and entered his neighbors’ home 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 was embroiled in a long-running dispute with the couple over designated parking spaces at the newly built housing development.
Just 10 days before the murders, Reeves reportedly verbally abused Chapple outside her home, following an earlier exchange between the victim and Reeves’ wife Kayley Reeves.
His mother, Lynn Reeves, said in a filmed police interview previously played to the jury that her son was a “closed book” who “never shares his feelings.”
He served in the army between 2002 and 2017, including in Afghanistan, but never spoke about what he saw there, she said.
It has been claimed that Reeves has struggled with his mental health since returning from Afghanistan.
Lynn Reeves wept as she appeared in court in person on Friday to testify live, and described how she found Reeves “white as a ghost” the night he killed his neighbors.
She said she was called by a “hysterical” Kayley Reeves who said “they’re dead”.
“He was white as a ghost, he was just white and he just didn’t look like Collin. He just stood there, he just looked through us like he wasn’t there and said ‘I had to protect my family’. ,” She said.
The process goes on.