Businessman shot dead by burglars was 'compassionate' and 'lived life to its full', family say in moving tribute

Telegraph Reporters
61-year-old Guy Hedger of Castlewood, St Ives, east Dorset - DORSET POLICE

The family of an insurance executive shot dead during a botched burglary have paid tribute to a "caring and compassionate man" who "lived life to its full".

Guy Hedger, 61, was killed in the early hours of April 30 after at least two intruders entered his £1 million home in the village of St Ives, near Bournemouth.

Dorset Police received a call at 3.03am reporting that Mr Hedger had been shot with a shotgun. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at hospital.

It is believed jewellery, including designer watches, was stolen from the address.

The victim's partner of 12 years, Simon-Pierre Hedger-Cooper, 48, who was in the house at the time, has been deeply affected by the incident and is being supported by specially-trained officers, police said.

Neighbourhood Inspector Steve Yeoman makes a statement to the media off David's Lane in St Ives, Ringwood Credit: PA

In a statement released by police, the victim's family 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.

"We ask for time to grieve in peace."

Detectives believe there may have been an element of pre-planning involved and would like to hear from anyone who may have seen people or vehicles acting suspiciously in the area directly before or during the days or hours leading up to the incident.

It is not thought that those responsible were known to the victim.

Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Derbyshire said: "This was a truly horrific crime and our deepest sympathies go out to Guy's family and friends. Our thoughts remain with you all.

"I want to reassure the public that we have the best detectives, officers and staff working day and night on this case.

"The violent offenders responsible for this crime are still at large and we are doing everything in our power to bring these individuals to justice.

A Police search dog on David's Lane in St Ives, Ringwood, near to where Guy Hedger was gunned down by intruders at a house in East Dorset Credit: PA

"I would ask the public to please get in touch with us if you have any information you think may be relevant to this investigation no matter how small you believe it to be.

"That information could be the key to solving this murder."

A spokesman for insurance company Liverpool Victoria (LV) paid tribute to Mr Hedger.

"An extremely talented marketer, Guy was instrumental in building the LV brand and he will be sorely missed by many."

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

Chief executive Debbie Godfrey-Phaure said: "Guy was a very kind and generous man who volunteered and gave his time freely to Avonbourne."

She added: "Guy had a deep passion for education and was dedicated to expanding the experience and knowledge of children in Bournemouth.

"Everyone at the trust will miss his guiding hand, friendship and the wonderful service he provided us."

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