Every third day, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man. Previously in this campaign, which started on May 2nd 2021, we have remembered 65 women, the last being Tina Billingham, who was murdered by her partner Ronald Cooke.
Today we remember Kerry Reeves, 26, murdered just over six years ago on November 3rd 2015. Kerry lived in Abingdon, a small town about seven miles south of Oxford. I know Abingdon very well, and it is one of the last places you would expect a murder to occur.
Evidence at the trial of Billy Johnson, 20, of Corby, Northamptonshire and Charles Noble, 21, of Northolt, north-west London, showed a different side of this sleepy town - Johnson and Noble were dealers in the class A drug Heroin.
My research has failed to discover the exact reason why Kerry was murdered that day, though it is known she was aware that the two were dealing in drugs and did seek to challenge them.
The Oxford Mail reported this:
Heroin dealers Johnson and Noble ambushed Miss Reeves on November 3 last year, shooting her just below her left eye with a sawn-off shotgun, from a distance of about six to 10 feet.
The 26-year-old was rushed to the John Radcliffe Hospital after the shooting by the masked men in Thornhill Walk, off Northcourt Road, but died two days later. Her mother, Nicky Reeves told the court she was forced to make the "worst decision" a parent could make after realising her daughter would never regain consciousness because of her "catastrophic" injuries. Ms Reeves added: "There is only one person that should be feeling the guilt that I am at the moment and that is the one who killed Kerry. The last image I have is Kerry lying in that hospital bed. I needed to be able to hug Kerry, just Kerry, not Kerry with the tubes coming out of her. I needed to hold Kerry for the last time."
Ms Reeves described the heart-wrenching pain of holding her hands over her ears to block out the "deafening" noise when the life support machine was switched off. She continued to share the horrific ordeal of watching her daughter's life then be "sucked away" from her, which she said continues to haunt her to this day.
The mother went on to tell the court Miss Reeves' twin Luke no longer wants to celebrate his birthday as he feels like "half a person" after the death of his sister. Ms Reeves said her daughter was in a "good place" before her death, working in a job she loved with Oxford City Council, where she was "respected" by her colleagues. She deemed it "cruel" her daughter was snatched away from her just a week after Miss Reeves revealed she was in a relationship with a woman she was "very in love" with. Ms Reeves added: "Kerry was intensely loyal and fun and it breaks my heart to know that cheeky girl will not be teasing me anymore."