Guy Hedger: Men On Trial Over Murder Near Ringwood

15 November 2017, 13:03

Guy Hedger

A court's heard a businessman who was shot dead near Ringwood was confronted by two armed men in his bedroom.

Guy Hedger and his husband were warned they'd be shot if they didn't do as they were told. Cash and jewellery were taken in April, from their £1 million home in Ashley in Dorset.

Guy was killed at around 3am on 30 April 2017. A post-mortem examination found that the 61-year-old died as a result of gunshot wounds.

Jason Baccus, 42, and Scott Keeping, 44, both of Verney Close, Bournemouth, along with Kevin Downton, 40, of Winterborne Stickland, near Blandford, all deny murder.

Prosecutor Nigel Lickley QC told Winchester Crown Court two masked men stormed into the bedroom where Mr Hedger was with his husband Simon Hedger-Cooper, and ordered both naked men to face the wall.

He added: "There is no dispute that Mr Hedger was shot and murdered.

"There is no dispute that there was an aggravated burglary of his home that night or that the people that were there were in possession of a loaded firearm."

Mr Lickley said: "The other issue is this. Why take such a weapon - loaded and capable of killing, as it did, unless you were prepared to use it.

"We suggest there is an obvious reason why you would take a loaded gun.

"It was taken loaded because the people who were responsible were prepared to use it to intimidate, threaten, kill and get away.

"One of the two intruders said, as the two homeowners lay on the bed naked - as they had been ordered to - one of the two men said 'we will shoot you if you don't do what we say'.

"And they did exactly that."

Jurors were told that after entering the detached house, one of the men went into the bedroom and demanded that Mr Hedger tell him the combination for two safes in the house.

It is alleged that Baccus and Downton are the two men who entered the home, with Downtown said to be the shooter.

Gunshot residue matching that found on Mr Hedger was allegedly later found on a snood discovered in the ceiling of Downton's Vauxhall Astra.

After shooting Mr Hedger with a sawn-off shotgun, the men made off with more than £120,000 worth of jewellery watches and valuables they had stolen from the home.

Mr Lickley said Baccus and Downton also took two phones - Mr Hedger-Cooper's iPhone, and the landline phone - which they discarded near to where a dog walker had their car parked hours earlier.

He said the reason for this was a "simple and callous one".

"To stop the survivor from calling the emergency services, to buy a few precious moments as they fled," Mr Lickley said.

He added: "This was no random unplanned event. It was carefully planned and they were not going to be stopped - hence the loaded gun."

Items taken from the couple's house were allegedly later discovered near the house Keeping shared with his wife Helen, and where Baccus was staying.

They were also found in bushes near the address and in a Ford Focus car Baccus and Keeping had bought days earlier, jurors heard.

Helen Keeping, 40, from Poole, denies two charges of assisting an offender relating to Baccus by allegedly disposing of stolen property and fellow defendant Keeping by allegedly providing him with a false alibi and disposing of stolen property.

The three male defendants also pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated burglary and possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence.

Baccus and Downton admit one charge of burglary of industrial premises in Verwood on the same day as the Castlewood incident, but deny another offence of burglary in the same area.

The trial continues.