FRIENDS and family of murdered West Somerset teacher Stephen Chapple and his wife Jennifer have started a campaign to reverse a reduction in their killer’s sentence.

Next-door neighbour Collin Reeves, a former Commando, stabbed them to death in the living room of their Norton Fitzwarren home in November, 2021, while their two children were asleep upstairs.

Reeves killed the couple after a long-running dispute over car parking outside their properties, stabbing them each six times with a ceremonial dagger presented to him on leaving the Royal Engineers.

He claimed manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility during his trial in Bristol Crown Court but was found guilty of two counts of murder and given a life sentence with a minimum tariff of 38 years.

Collin Reeves in his police mugshot. See SWNS story SWBRverdict. An ex-soldier is facing life in prison after being found guilty of murdering his neighbours with a ceremonial dagger over a parking row. Former commando Collin Reeves, 34, removed the weapon from a frame and went next door. He then stabbed and killed married couple Jennifer, 33, and Stephen Chapple, 36. CCTV showed him scaling his garden fence and entering his neighbour's home and screaming "die, you f***ers, die". Reeves had accepted manslaughter but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Collin Reeves (Avon Somerset Police / SWNS)

However, three Appeal Court judges in London last month reduced the minimum term by three years to 35 years, saying the trial judge should have reached a better ‘balance’ between ‘mitigating and aggravating factors’, highlighting remorse shown by Reeves, his confession, his depression, and his military service.

Now, Danielle Lucas, a close friend of the late Mrs Chapple, has launched a petition through the online platform calling for the minimum 38-year jail term to be restored. is a public benefit corporation overseen by a non-profit governing board which exists to empower people to create the change they want to see in society.

Ms Lucas said: “The reduction of his sentence is an insult to the friends, families, and most importantly, the children of the Chapples.

“This is our plea to the people of the UK to sign this petition and get this decision reviewed and the original term of 38 years reinstated.

“Reeves was a trained killer, having spent time in the Army. He entered their home as they watched television and stabbed them six times each, giving them no chance at all to defend themselves.

“In the weeks leading up to her death, Jennifer messaged friends and family saying she truly feared for her life living so close to Reeves.

“Reeves spent months tormenting the Chapples. Jennifer expressed to friends and family how she feared for her own life at the hands of Reeves.”

Another of Mrs Chapple’s friends helping with the petition, Melody Champion-Smith, said: “He is going to get to see his children, Jen and Stephen are never going to get to see theirs.

“There are going to be no birthday cards, Christmas cards, presents, because they have none of that any more, because he took that.

“There are residents in Norton Fitzwarren currently diagnosed with PTSD from what they saw that night.

“So, for the appeal judge to say, ‘well, I did not quite consider Collin’s mental state’, perhaps he needs to take a step back and consider everybody else’s mental state around him, which was the main drive behind the petition.

“I sat with Jennifer’s mother, who had gone from making headway in grief to utterly broken again.”

Mrs Chapple’s sister, Rhonda Godley, told how despite the murder conviction of Reeves, she continued to live in fear.

Ms Godley said: “I have put cameras all the way around the house to make sure I am secure because I am terrified.

“I do not go out unless I know where I am going. I cannot go for walks that I used to.

“I literally just stay inside because I do not want to risk getting hurt.”