Police outside Clyffe Cottages, Cotman Road, Norwich where the body of resident Barry Reeve was found. They have now launched a murder inquiry. Photo: Steve Adams

Norwich murder trial jury told both women guilty of killing former bus conductor in own home

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
10.32 AM

A jury has been told two women accused of murdering a former bus conductor in his own home “acted together” in killing him and so were “both guilty”.

The body of 67-year-old Barry Reeve was discovered at a property on Corton Road, off City Road, on February 26 last year two weeks after it was said he was attacked.

Kelly Louise Barnes, 32, and Jodie Barnes, formerly Ramsbottom, who are civil partners and from Bixley Close, both deny murdering Mr Reeve and are on trial at Norwich Crown Court.

Karim Khalil QC yesterday delivered the prosecution’s closing speech by insisting to the jury they were both in it together. He said: “Only two people know exactly what happened in Barry Reeve’s bungalow on evening of 9 February last year.

“Neither of them has told you the truth about it. Why is that? Because the truth would lead them both to the admission that they were involved in murdering him.

“They acted together in everything they did that day and every day. What happened in that bungalow was, we say, no exception.”

Mr Khalil said they went round to Mr Reeve’s together to try and get money for drink and drugs.

He said: “But Barry Reeve refused to give them money, was tortured and finally left to die and they went off together to try and use his bank card.

“They failed and then they returned together which must’ve been their plan to collect all the bags that they had left outside his cottage.

“They felt safe. Safe in the knowledge that he wasn’t going to be meeting them or calling for a neighbour to help or calling for the police.

“Safe in the knowledge they had however long it took. Safe in the knowledge he would never be able to identify either of them to anyone. Safe to carry on their lives, buy top ups for his mobile phone and lying about where they had got it from. Safe because they understood that Barry Reeve was dead and for all intensive purposes he was.”

Mr Khalil said both defendants either lied or made no comment when questioned by police about what happened.

He asked the jury why it was they had now both turned on each other “so viciously” looking to blame each other for Mr Reeve’s death.

Mr Khalil said it was to “save their own skin” and told the court both were “capable of outbursts of serious violence”. He said they were “equally responsible for killing Mr Reeve and equally responsible for trying to lie their way out of it” and invited the jury to find them “both guilty” of murder.

Today Graham Parkins QC, representing Kelly, and Mukhtar Hussain QC, for Jodie, will deliver closing speeches for the defence.

The trial continues.