Somerset murder investigation: Teacher and wife killed 'in row over parking'

23 November 2021, 08:48 | Updated: 23 November 2021, 11:25

Neighbours have claimed the couple had been involved in a dispute over parking
Neighbours have claimed the couple had been involved in a dispute over parking. Picture: LBC

By Megan Hinton

A couple killed in their home in Somerset had been involved in parking rows before their death, neighbours have claimed.

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The husband and wife, named locally as Stephen and Jenny Chapple, were found with serious injuries at an address in Dragon Rise in Norton Fitzwarren at around 9.45pm on Sunday.

But despite the efforts of emergency services, the IT teacher, 34 and garden centre worker, 33, were both pronounced dead at the scene.

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Neighbours have since claimed the couple had been involved in a long running dispute over parking.

A woman living nearby said: "We didn’t see much of [the suspect] really, but there had been rows in the past about parking."

Tributes have been made to the husband and wife with Rob Brooks, manager of the Otter Garden Centre where Jenny worked, saying: "She was a well loved member of staff and a very kind person.

"We all loved her and so did the customers. We are devastated. We will remember her as a beautiful, kind and dedicated mother and colleague.

"This has hit us all very hard and it feels very raw," he told the MailOnline.

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Two men, aged 34 and 67, have since been arrested on suspicion of murder. They are believed to be a neighbour who lived in the new build estate and his father.

The force confirmed two "distressed" young children were in the property at the time of the killings but they remained unharmed.

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Avon and Somerset Police said that due to prior contact with those involved, it had referred itself voluntarily to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Detective Inspector Neil Meade, of the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: "The thoughts of everyone in the force this morning are with the families of the two people who sadly died last night.

"Two young children were inside the property at the time of the incident and while thankfully they weren't hurt, they are understandably distressed at what has happened.

"They are being looked after and specially trained officers have been deployed to support the victims' families in what is undoubtedly the most difficult of times."

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He added: "We will carry out a full and thorough investigation and we will do all we can to achieve justice for the victims' families.

"While this appears to be an isolated incident, there will be increased police activity in the area to provide the community with reassurance.

"Incidents like this are very rare but when they do happen, we know they cause significant concern so we'd urge anyone with worries or questions to speak to an officer or contact their local neighbourhood policing team."

A police cordon remains in place at two properties on the street while forensic investigations are carried out.