Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Pair jailed over 'grotesque' murder

Barry Reeve was killed by two lovers who returned to the scene of the crime to empty his freezer
Barry Reeve was killed by two lovers who returned to the scene of the crime to empty his freezer

Two lesbian lovers convicted of the "grotesque and incomprehensible" murder and torture of a grandfather turned on one another as they were jailed for life.

Kelly Barnes, 32, and Jodie Barnes, formerly Ramsbottom, 31, will each serve a minimum of 24 years after a jury convicted them of the killing of Barry Reeve, 67, at Norwich Crown Court.

The pair, who are in a civil partnership, had to be physically removed from the dock by prison guards. Kelly Barnes swore and accused her partner of being a liar.

Members of the jury broke down in tears as the pair shouted and screamed at the court and one another. They could be heard struggling as they were led to the cells.

Retired bus conductor Mr Reeve was found brutally murdered in his bungalow in Corton Road, Norwich, on February 26 last year. His body lay undiscovered for two and a half weeks.

It is thought he was left dying for up to 48 hours after the attack, during which he was punched, stamped on and slashed with a knife in an attempt to force him to disclose his PIN number.

The couple returned to the property to empty his freezer and steal valuables while he lay dying. He eventually died as a result of hypothermia brought about as a result of a fractured skull and multiple injuries.

Speaking outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Guy said it was likely they returned a second and even third time to strip the house of all valuables.

The drug addict couple, of Bixley Close, Norwich, had both denied murder, blaming one another for the killing.

Jailing them for life, Judge Peter Jacobs said Mr Reeve's "mental and physical suffering" aggravated the crime, and added: "You were totally indifferent as to whether he lived or died."

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