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The man who murdered Jennifer and Stephen Chapple has today (Tuesday, 21 June) been jailed for a minimum of 38 years.
Collin Reeves, 35, was last week found guilty of murdering his next-door neighbours in Norton Fitzwarren in November last year following a trial at Bristol Crown Court.
Today, at the same court, he was handed two life sentences.
Jennifer, 33, and Stephen, 36, were stabbed multiple times by Reeves with a ceremonial military dagger.
Their children were asleep upstairs at the time.
The attack came moments after Reeves’ wife told him she wanted a trial separation and followed a dispute with his neighbours over parking spaces outside their properties.
Six of Jennifer and Stephen’s family wrote statements, some of which were read out in court today, which described the impact their deaths had on them.
Sentencing Reeves, Mr Justice Garnham said the brutal attacks were “unprovoked and unjustified” and that as a result of his “murderous behaviour” two children had been left orphaned, causing them “lifelong harm”.
Detective Inspector Neil Meade, the senior investigating officer, said: “I doubt anyone can read the statements provided by Jennifer and Stephen’s family members and not be deeply moved.
“They were doting parents who did nothing to deserve what happened to them.
“The impact their deaths has had on those who loved them is heartbreaking and while the sentence announced today is fully justified, I’m sure it in no way balances out the grief they continue to feel.
“They have shown great courage and dignity throughout our investigation and subsequent criminal proceedings and I hope now these have concluded they can move forward with their lives.”