South West Wales

John Cooper 1980s murder trial: new jury sworn in

John Cooper
Image caption John Cooper denies four counts of murder and other separate charges, including rape

The trial of a Pembrokeshire man accused of two double murders in the 1980s has restarted in Swansea.

The trial of John Cooper, 66, was halted on Monday and the original jury discharged when the judge said a matter had been brought to his attention.

A new jury of six men and six women has been sworn in and the prosecution has begun its opening statement.

Mr Cooper also denies unrelated rape, indecent assault and attempted robberies charges. The trial continues.

He is charged with of killing farmer Richard Thomas, 58, and his sister Helen, 54, at their remote home near Milford Haven in December 1985.

They were both shot and their house set on fire.

The defendant, of Letterston, is also accused of the murders of Peter Dixon, 51, and Gwenda Dixon, 52, on the Pembrokeshire coastal path in June 1989.

The holidaymakers, from Witney in Oxfordshire, were also shot and their bank cards stolen. Their bodies were discovered hidden in undergrowth some days later.