Dorset

Guy Hedger: Murder suspect admits thefts and drug use

Guy Hedger Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Guy Hedger was at home with his husband when he was killed

A suspect accused of shooting dead a businessman in a botched burglary has admitted to being a prolific thief and drug user.

Kevin Downton told Winchester Crown Court he spent three to four nights a week stealing diesel and had a cocaine habit that cost him £25 to £50 a day.

Guy Hedger, 61, was killed in the raid at his home in Ashley, Dorset, in the early hours of 30 April.

Jason Baccus, Scott Keeping and Mr Downton all deny murdering Mr Hedger.

Mr Downton, 40, of Winterborne Stickland near Blandford, said he met fellow defendant Mr Baccus in prison more than a decade ago and would buy cocaine from him.

He said the pair also committed commercial burglaries together but, when question by his defence barrister, denied having ever burgled a home.

The jury was told Mr Downton had numerous convictions for driving offences and commercial burglaries between 1997 and 2016.

Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption Scott Keeping, Kevin Downton, Jason Baccus deny murder while Helen Keeping denies assisting an offender

Previously, the court heard he claimed he had been buying a birthday present for his daughter on the evening of the murder.

He said he also visited "two or three friends" but declined to name them and could not remember what time he returned home.

Diamond jewellery and watches were among items stolen in the burglary at the luxury property near Ringwood.

The trial previously heard how Mr Hedger was shot as his husband, Simon-Pierre Hedger-Cooper, activated a panic button.

Mr Baccus, 42, and Mr Keeping, 44, both of Verney Close, Bournemouth, and Mr Downton all deny murder, possessing a firearm, aggravated burglary and burglary.

Helen Keeping, 40, from Poole, denies two charges of assisting an offender.

The trial continues.

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