Judge names youths as he jails them for life for murder of ‘vulnerable’ musician

A judge has named two “pure evil” 17-year-old boys as he jailed them for life to serve a minimum of 18 years for the “brutal” murder of a “vulnerable” musician.

Mr Justice Sweeney lifted reporting restrictions at Winchester Crown Court to allow the naming of Jack Hindley and Samuel Jones, who were found guilty of the murder of 35-year-old Edward Reeve.

The “talented” keyboard player suffered multiple stab wounds in the attack at his home in Christchurch, Dorset, on New Year’s Eve 2021.

Hindley, from Christchurch, and Jones, from Bournemouth, were 16 at the time of the attack.

They showed no emotion as the sentence was handed down.

Announcing the judgment to allow the defendants to be named, Mr Justice Sweeney said that open reporting could have a “deterrent effect” on youth knife crime and attacks in the home which he said were “two areas of public concern”.

He added: “There is greater weight in open justice and unrestricted reporting than in the interests of these defendants.”

Describing the attack, the judge continued: “They jointly and brutally attacked him in the living room with their respective knives, with Jack striking the first blow.

“Edward Reeve made desperate attempts to get away from the attack on him including trying and succeeding to get out into the garden. However, in the end, he suffered eight stab wounds.”

He added that afterwards the defendants “excitedly bragged” to three girls about what they had done and were seen “fist-bumping, laughing and hugging” before posing for a “team photograph”.

Jack James Hindley
Jack James Hindley was 16 at the time of the attack (Dorset Police/PA)

The court heard that Mr Reeve was probably chased by his attackers before being left to bleed to death.

The court heard that the victim, who had a history of psychiatric illness, had met the two defendants outside a local shop and had sought to buy drugs from them to self-medicate for his mental well-being.

Riel Karmy-Jones KC, prosecuting, said: “The victim was particularly vulnerable because of his disability.”

Mr Reeve invited them back to his home but the attack happened when they visited again on December 31 2021.

The defendants claimed during the trial that they had acted in self-defence after Mr Reeve accused them of stealing his computer, but the pair were convicted unanimously by the jury of his murder.

They were also convicted of possessing two knives which the prosecution said were taken to the scene of the killing.

Samuel Roy Jones
Samuel Roy Jones was jailed for a minimum of 18 years (Dorset Police/PA)

Jones has previous convictions for possessing a knife and burglary.

The court heard that the defendants bragged afterwards about the killing to friends and even attended a party with blood still on their clothes.

The victim’s father, John Reeve, said in a statement read to court: “I devoted my whole life to him and his happiness and his well-being.

“He was known far and wide for his music which was played on BBC radio.

“He was a lovely man and a talented musician.”

The 69-year-old added: “They stole Edward’s life in a wicked, violent and despicable manner.”

The victim’s mother, Jayne Newey, added: “He was a beautiful boy and grew up to be such a kind and gentle man.”

His aunt, Helen Newey, described the defendants as “pure evil” and described the killing as a “horror show”.