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8 September 2017, 11:16
Three men have entered not guilty pleas, over the murder of businessman Guy Hedger near Ringwood.
Guy Hedger, 61, was killed in the early hours of 30 April after at least two intruders entered his £1 million home in Castlewood, Ashley - just inside Dorset.
A post-mortem examination found Mr Hedger died as a result of gunshot wounds.
Jason Baccus, 41, and Scott Keeping, 44, both of Verney Close, Bournemouth, along with Kevin Downton, 40, of Winterborne Stickland, near Blandford, entered their pleas during a short hearing at Winchester Crown Court.
Helen Keeping, also known as Helen Cooper, 40, from Poole, entered not guilty pleas to 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, possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence and two charges of burglary of industrial premises in Verwood on the same day as the Castlewood incident.
Judge Keith Cutler adjourned the case for the trial to begin on 14 November and remanded the defendants in custody until then.
He told the defendants: "I adjourn this case today, each of you will be required to attend for the trial which will begin on Tuesday, November 14."
Mr Hedger, an insurance executive, was a director of the Avonbourne International Business and Enterprise Trust, which runs colleges and a primary school in the Bournemouth area.
His partner, Simon-Pierre Hedger-Cooper, a voluntary sector worker, was also in the house at the time of the incident.
Earlier this week, Dorset Police found parts of a sawn-off shotgun.
Following police enquiries, searches were carried out from Friday 25 August to Monday 28 August. Officers made the discovery in the River Stour near to Canford Parish Church.
Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Derbyshire, of the Major Crime Investigation Team, said:
"We have conducted a number of searches during this investigation and the find may be of significance.
"We thank everyone for their patience and cooperation during the four-day search and apologise for any disruption caused to the public while the searches were carried out.
"We would still urge anyone with information in relation to this case who has not already contacted us to come forward."
After his death, Mr Hedger's family paid tribute to him. In a statement, they 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.
``We are devastated that Guy's life has been cut short in this way.
``Guy will be sorely missed by family, friends and colleagues, but he will live in our hearts forever.''