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Couple blame each other for the death of former bus conductor, court hears

PUBLISHED: 09:27 30 January 2013 | UPDATED: 09:29 30 January 2013

Kelly and Jodie Barnes.

Kelly and Jodie Barnes.

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Two women in a civil partnership who are accused of murdering a former bus driver have blamed one another for the death.

The body of Barry Reeve was discovered by police at his home on Corton Road, off City Road, Norwich, on February 26 last year – two weeks after he was allegedly murdered.

Kelly Barnes and Jodie Barnes, of Bixley Close, Earlham, both deny murder and at Norwich Crown Court yesterday accused each other. Yesterday at Norwich Crown Court, the defence lawyers for both women summed up the case. Graham Parkins QC, defending Kelly Barnes, said: “Our case is simple.

“We say, no we are not involved in any way in the attack. What happened to Mr Reeve was solely an attack by Jodie Barnes.” Mr Parkins described the prosecution’s case that both women killed Mr Reeve as the “easy option”. He said: “This is not a joint enterprise. They went there to borrow money – to steal – and one of them lost it. We know which one it was.”

He told the court that Jodie took the lead and attacked the 67-year-old to get money out of him, while Kelly, 32, went about stealing items. Mr Parkins suggested that Jodie, 31, had continued the attack on the father on a second visit to the home later that day, while Kelly had waited in a taxi.

But Mukhtar Hussain QC, defending Jodie Barnes, formerly Ramsbottom, accused Mr Parkins of “speculation”.

He said there was no evidence to show that two people carried out the murder. He told the jury: “One of them did it, we can all be sure of that.” And he described his client as an “unsophisticated” person and claimed Kelly had “flipped suddenly” before attacking Mr Reeve.

The trial continues.

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