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Two men convicted of murdering woman shot in face with sawn-off gun

Published 28/05/2016

Kerry Reeves died after being shot at close range in Abingdon, Oxfordshire (Thames Valley Police/PA)
Kerry Reeves died after being shot at close range in Abingdon, Oxfordshire (Thames Valley Police/PA)

Two "ruthless, calculated and violent" men have been found guilty of the murder of a 26-year-old woman who was shot in the face at "point-blank range" with a sawn-off shotgun.

Billy Johnson, 20, from Ripon Court, Corby, Northamptonshire, and Charles Noble, 21, from Kempton Avenue, Northolt, north-west London, were convicted of the murder of Kerry Reeves following a trial at Oxford Crown Court.

They are due to be sentenced at the same court on Tuesday.

Ms Reeves was ambushed by the pair while she was with friends in a garden in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, on November 3 last year.

Johnson is understood to have pulled the trigger but both defendants were involved in planning the attack, according to Adrian Foster, of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

He said: "Billy Johnson and Charles Noble were known to Kerry, but there had been bad feeling and a number of instances of violence and harassment between them and their respective friends for over a year.

"Johnson and Noble ambushed Kerry and her friends in a garden behind Thornhill Walk in Abingdon and Kerry was shot, at close range, to the face with the sawn-off shotgun.

"She was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital, but died of her injuries two days later on 5 November 2015.

"Although it is believed that Johnson pulled the trigger, both Johnson and Noble played a significant role in this planned attack, which led to the untimely death of Kerry. They both acted jointly, together, and are clearly extremely ruthless, calculated and violent individuals.

"Both Johnson and Noble answered 'no comment' during police interviews, but were linked to Kerry's death with telephone evidence (call data and cell site analysis), internet search history and CCTV.

"This case represents a tragedy for Kerry's family and friends who have been devastated by her death. The witnesses were utterly unprepared for what they saw, some of them acted courageously on the night in their efforts to save Kerry's life, and all of them have given evidence in very difficult circumstances."

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Lynch, of Thames Valley Police, said: "It is with regret that neither of the men showed any remorse for taking the life of an innocent woman by shooting her at point-blank range on that evening.

"Kerry's murder has had a huge impact on her family and the community of Abingdon.

"Although there can be no sense of happiness at the convictions of Billy Johnson and Charles Noble, I hope there is a sense of justice for Kerry's mother, Nicky, and her family."

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