This should spur some rethinking about retirement gifts
Ex-soldier who murdered neighbours has minimum jail term cut
A former soldier who stabbed his neighbours to death while their children slept upstairs has won an appeal after arguing the minimum amount of time he would have to serve in jail was too long.
Afghanistan veteran Collin Reeves, who knifed Stephen and Jennifer Chapple six times each at their home in Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton, Somerset, in November 2021 after a long-running row over parking, had been handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 38 years by a trial judge.
Three appeal judges on Tuesday cut that minimum term to 35 years after concluding 38 years was "excessive".
Lord Justice Holroyde, Mr Justice Kerr and Judge Timothy Spencer considered Reeves' challenge at a Court of Appeal hearing in London.
They concluded that Mr Justice Garnham, who oversaw a trial at Bristol Crown Court last June, should have given "more weight" to "mitigating factors".
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.
The Army has been urged by a coroner to stop giving out weapons as retirement gifts
after the Afghanistan veteran used the ceremonial dagger to murder his neighbours.
He called the police minutes after the killings to confess.
Reeves denied murder but admitted manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.
Three appeal judges today cut that minimum term to 35 years after concluding 38 years was "excessive".