NEWS
06/05/2017 11:28 BST | Updated 06/05/2017 19:08 BST

Three In Court Charged With Fatal Shooting Of Dorset Businessman

Three men have appeared in court charged with murdering a businessman who was fatally shot, allegedly during a botched burglary.

Guy Hedger, 61, was killed in the early hours of April 30 after at least two intruders entered his £1 million home in Castlewood, Dorset.

A post-mortem examination found Mr Hedger died as a consequence of gunshot wounds, Dorset Police said.

Jason Baccus, 41, Scott Keeping, 44, and Kevin Downton, 40, appeared at Poole Magistrates' Court on Saturday for a short hearing.

Lady Helen Curran, chair of magistrates, remanded the three defendants in custody.

"You are being sent to the crown court sitting at Winchester for the offence of murder," she told them.

"You will attend there via video link on Wednesday May 9 at 10am."

Baccus, Keeping and Downton, dressed in grey tracksuits, spoke only to confirm their names, dates of birth and addresses.

Lee Turner, prosecuting, said: "All three defendants face joint charges of murder.

"We ask you to send them to Winchester Crown Court to appear on May 9. The custody time limit is November 3 2017."

Baccus and Keeping are both of Verney Close, Bournemouth, while Downton is from Winterborne Stickland, near Blandford.

Police previously said that a 40-year-old Bournemouth woman who was arrested in relation to the case has been released under investigation.

The alarm was raised at 3.03am on April 30 when police received a call reporting Mr Hedger had been shot with a shotgun.

The insurance executive was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at hospital.

Mr Hedger's partner, Simon-Pierre Hedger-Cooper, 48, a voluntary sector worker, was also in the house at the time.

Earlier this week, Mr Hedger's family paid tribute and said: "Guy was a caring and compassionate partner, son, brother and uncle who lived life to its full and enriched the lives of all those who knew him.

"Guy will be sorely missed by family, friends and colleagues, but he will live in our hearts forever."

Mr Hedger was a director of the Avonbourne International Business and Enterprise Trust, which runs colleges and a primary school in the Bournemouth area.