Corby man who shot woman in face from point-blank range sentenced to life in prison

A man from Corby who killed a woman in Oxfordshire by shooting her in the face from point-blank range has been sentenced to life in prison.

Tuesday, 31st May 2016, 2:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st May 2016, 4:18 pm
Billy Johnson.

Billy Johnson, 20, of Ripon Court, was convicted last week along with accomplice Charles Noble, 21, from Ealing in London.

The pair were unanimously found guilty of the murder of Kerry Reeves in Abingdon on November 3, after a 15-day trial.

Miss Reeves knew both offenders and there was bad feeling between the pair and her friends.

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It is believed Johnson shot Miss Reeves with a sawn-off shotgun after he and Noble ambushed her and her friends in a garden.

Both were given life sentences, with Johnson to serve a minimum of 25 years and Noble a minimum of 22.

Speaking after the trial, Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: “This case involved the tragic murder of 26-year-old Kerry Reeves in Abingdon last November.

“Billy Johnson and Charles Noble were known to Kerry, but there had been bad feeling and a number of instances of violence and harassment between them and their respective friends for over a year.

“Johnson and Noble ambushed Kerry and her friends in a garden behind Thornhill Walk in Abingdon and Kerry was shot, at close range, to the face with the sawn-off shotgun.

“She was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital, but died of her injuries two days later on November 5, 2015.

“Although it is believed that Johnson pulled the trigger, both Johnson and Noble played a significant role in this planned attack, which led to the untimely death of Kerry.

“They both acted jointly, together, and are clearly extremely ruthless, calculated and violent individuals.

“Both Johnson and Noble answered ‘no comment’ during police interviews, but were linked to Kerry’s death with telephone evidence (call data and cell site analysis), Internet search history and CCTV. The jury has today found them guilty of murder despite their denials.

“This case represents a tragedy for Kerry’s family and friends who have been devastated by her death.

“The witnesses were utterly unprepared for what they saw, some of them acted courageously on the night in their efforts to save Kerry’s life, and all of them have given evidence in very difficult circumstances.

“I would like to pay tribute to Kerry’s family and friends and the witnesses for their wholehearted support of the investigation and prosecution.

“We have worked closely with Thames Valley Police since this investigation was launched and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved.

“The consequences of this incident highlight the significant danger weapons, drugs, alcohol and violence have on lives.

“The CPS takes all allegations of violence and gun crime extremely seriously and will continue to vigorously prosecute all such offenders.

“We know that nothing will bring Kerry back to her family and friends, but we hope that today’s convictions bring them at least a small sense that justice has been done.

“Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time.”