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Neighbour in court accused of stabbing couple to death

By PA News

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A 34-year-old man has appeared in court charged with the murder of a young married couple who were knifed to death in their own home as their children slept upstairs.

Stephen and Jennifer Chapple, both in their 30s, were found by emergency services with serious injuries at their home in Dragon Rise, Norton Fitzwarren, at around 9.45pm on Sunday.

The couple, who have two primary-school aged sons, were later pronounced dead at the scene.

Collin Reeves, also of Dragon Rise, was charged with their murders on Tuesday evening.

A police tent at the scene in Dragon Rise in Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton (Andrew Matthews/PA)
A police tent at the scene in Dragon Rise in Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton (Andrew Matthews/PA)

He appeared at Taunton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday morning wearing a grey prison tracksuit and spoke only to confirm his name and address.

Reeves was remanded into custody ahead of his first appearance at Exeter Crown Court on Friday.

Magistrate Stephen Howells told him: “Due to the nature of these offences this court has no power to deal with anything to do with it, and we have no power to deal with any bail matters.

“Therefore you will be remanded into custody to appear tomorrow, November 26, at Exeter Crown Court.”

Nine members of Reeves’ family were present in court for the hearing.

One called out “love you bro” and another told him to “stay strong” as he was led from the dock.

A second man, aged 67, was also arrested on suspicion of the two murders on Sunday evening, and was released under investigation on Tuesday.

He remains under investigation, Avon and Somerset Police said.

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