A former soldier has been charged with murder after a couple were killed in a Somerset village over an alleged parking dispute.
Collin Reeves, 34, was arrested and charged by detectives on Wednesday evening following an alleged altercation with married couple Stephen, 36, and Jennifer, 33, Chapple in Norton Fitzwarren on Sunday night.
Mr Reeves, a former Commando Royal Engineer, lived next door to the victims.
Mr and Mrs Chapple were found dead at their home in Dragon Rise while their two sons, aged five and six, slept upstairs. Their youngest son had just started primary school.
The incident is alleged to be linked to a parking dispute between neighbours in the Taylor Wimpey development, where neighbours complained that there simply “isn’t enough of it”.
Images taken near the crime scene show two cars parked bumper to bumper in a single parking bay owned by the Chapples.
“It’s horrendous. People park at bad angles, on corners, blocking driveways because the spaces are so limited,” resident Sharon Sedgbeer, 50, said.
On Wednesday, neighbours near where the incident took place said they heard a man shouting at the murder scene just minutes before police arrived.
“I heard a man outside. He was shouting,” the neighbour said.
“He was very sweary. I didn't hear anything said in return. Just him."
She continued: “I didn’t hear anyone shouting back, and given the distance from their house I think I would have done. So I assumed they were on the phone. But he was definitely talking to someone.”
Avon and Somerset Police said the incident on the Dragon Rise estate would be referred to the policing watchdog due to “prior police contact with those involved”.
Post-mortem examinations show that both Mrs Chapple, who worked at the Otter garden centre at Pen Elm, near Taunton, and her husband, who taught computing at West Somerset College, had been stabbed to death.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Avon and Somerset Police said: “Collin Reeves, of Dragon Rise, Norton Fitzwarren, remains in police custody and is due to appear at Taunton Magistrates’ Court tomorrow morning (Thursday, 25 November).
“Jennifer, aged 33, and Stephen, aged 36, were formally identified earlier today. Post-mortem examinations concluded they both died from multiple stab wounds.”
Detective Inspector Neil Meade, of the Major Crime Investigation Team at Avon and Somerset Police, said: “Specialist officers are providing support to Jennifer and Stephen’s families and our thoughts remain with them this evening.
“We’ve been keeping them fully updated on the progress of our investigation and they’re aware of this latest development.
“It is undoubtedly an extremely difficult time for them and I’d ask their privacy is respected as they continue to come to terms with what has happened.”
Rebecca Pow, MP for Taunton, said the news was "absolutely tragic and shocking".
She said: "It's a very close-knit community so it is really devastating news. I'm sure it would have shaken them to their foundations."
Neighbours praised the “friendly” Chapple couple, who would smile and stop to chat with fellow local residents. They expressed shock at the incident in what was usually a “really quiet and safe neighbourhood”.
“Our children played together, they both seemed really nice,” one neighbour said. “Jennifer was really bubbly and lovely.”
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