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A mum is desperate for her ex-soldier son's hefty jail sentence to be reduced after he killed two of his next-door neighbours because he "thought they were the enemy".

Lynn Reeves says her son Collin Reeves, who stabbed a couple to death while their sons slept upstairs, committed the atrocious attacks because of PTSD after he was "let down" by the Army – despite him not asking for any help.

Reeves, 35, was handed life in jail with a minimum 38 years to be spent after being found guilty of murder after trial at Bristol Crown Court.

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He previously pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Jennifer and Stephen Chapple, in Dragon Rise, Norton Fitzwarren, Somerset, on November 21 last year, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Now, despite the trial hearing Reeves stabbed the couple with a ceremonial Army dagger because of a long-standing parking dispute, his mum Lynn is pleading for his sentence to be shortened and has started a petition – claiming her son was suffering from PTSD when he climbed his neighbour's fence and entered their home before murdering them.

"We can't condone that Jennifer and Stephen Chapple lost their lives on that night, their two boys left without parents, the suffering their families and friends are dealing with," said Lynn.

"What happened shouldn't have happened. We all agree that. But it wasn't Collin. It's so out of character.

"Collin accepts he should be punished for his actions, though it was something his mental state made him do, not the Collin we know and love."

Married father Reeves moved from his native Wales to Taunton at age 12 where he attended Bishop Fox's School. He later joined the Army and was in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, where he is said to have seen many severely-injured British soldiers and insurgents.

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Reeves more recently worked as a lorry driver and attended kickboxing classes, and enjoyed fishing.

Lynn claims he suffered from PTSD, anxiety and mental health issues, blaming the Army and psychiatrists for failing to act. However, Reeves did not seek any help from anyone, and the jury at trial did not believe this would have made him unaware of what he was doing when he murdered his neighbours.

Lynn said: "He'd never have have done anything like that. He thought they were the enemy and he was on an operation and needed to do his job.

"He's expressed regret and can't believe he did it. It was something his mental state made him do.

"He's bearing up in prison and there's an appeal going in to try to reduce his sentence."

The Daily Star has approached the Ministry of Defence for a response.

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