Barry Reeve murder trial: Accused 'forgiven by God'

Kelly, left, and Jodie Barnes
Image caption Kelly and Jodie Barnes, who are civil partners, deny murdering Barry Reeve

A woman accused of murdering a 67-year-old man has told a court she was not responsible for his death and said: "I've been forgiven by God."

Jodie Barnes, 31, appeared at Norwich Crown Court wearing a crucifix and holding a Bible.

She and Kelly Barnes, 32, formerly of Bixley Close, Norwich, are accused of the torture and murder of retired bus conductor Barry Reeve.

Both women, who are civil partners, deny the charge.

Earlier, Kelly Barnes told the court they had visited Mr Reeve's bungalow in Corton Road, Norwich, on 9 February last year but claimed she did not witness an attack.

She then said her partner told her while they were both being held at Peterborough prison that she had killed Mr Reeve.

'The gospel truth'

Jodie Barnes, who asked to be called by her maiden name of Ramsbottom, denied making the confession.

"I prayed about this, it's the gospel truth that I have not said anything to Kelly about any incident," she said.

"I know I've been forgiven by God. I get visions from him all the time."

Jodie Barnes told the court the couple had spent up to £400 a week on heroin and crack cocaine and said that on the day of the killing they had no money.

The drug addicts visited Mr Reeve who had previously lent them money.

Her sexual services were offered to Mr Reeve by Kelly Barnes but he said he wanted Kelly instead, the jury heard.

She said there was a "ruck" and added: "Kelly freaked out, she did it, she did it. I was getting flashbacks about it in prison."

Still alive

Jodie Barnes admitted taking Mr Reeve's wallet as he lay injured, but denied returning to the bungalow later that night to empty the freezer.

Image caption The body of Barry Reeve was discovered at his bungalow in Norwich

She told the court Kelly Barnes had returned but she stayed at home "reading my Bible all night".

Prosecutor Karim Khalil QC has told the court the pair tortured Mr Reeve in an attempt to force him to disclose his bank account personal identification number.

He said that after the killing they made several attempts to withdraw money from a cash machine using his debit card, then took a taxi back to his home to steal valuables.

Pathologist Nat Cary said that he believed Mr Reeve had lived for at least 24 hours after the attack - meaning he was still alive when they returned.

Mr Reeve's body was found in his blood-spattered home two weeks later when his daughter called to visit.

The case continues.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites