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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Couple ‘murdered in dispute over parking space’ while their children slept upstairs

Neighbours of a couple killed in a Somerset village have said that “everyone has an issue with parking around here” amid speculation over what led to the deadly dispute.

Married couple Stephen Chapple, 34, and wife Jennifer, 33, were found dead at their home in Dragon Rise, Norton Fitzwarren, Somerset, on Sunday night while their two sons, aged five and six, slept upstairs.

Mrs Chapple was stabbed to death, police confirmed on Tuesday. Post mortem examinations are still being carried out on her husband.

Mr Chapple taught computing at West Somerset College and his wife worked at Otter Garden Centre at Pen Elm, near Taunton. The couple’s youngest son had just started primary school.

The killings are rumoured to be linked to a parking dispute between neighbours in the Taylor Wimpey development, where it is believed that residents are allocated at least one parking space each.

Sharon Sedgbeer, 50, a resident of Dragon Rise, said parking has been a problem because there simply “isn’t enough of it”.

She said: “It’s horrendous. People park at bad angles, on corners, blocking driveways because the spaces are so limited.”

Another resident, Melissa, said “everyone has an issue with parking around here,” adding: “Some people have multiple cars there isn’t space for and it has caused a lot of upset.”

One man, aged 34, was arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in police custody while a second man, aged 67, was arrested and released under investigation.

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