Murder detectives arrest four people over death of Dorset businessman

Haroon Siddique
Police near to Guy Hedger’s home in Ringwood. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA

Police have arrested four people over the killing of Guy Hedger, who was shot dead during a burglary at his Dorset home.

The 61-year-old marketing executive was fatally injured in front of his partner in the early hours of Sunday morning.

On Wednesday, Dorset police said they were questioning three people who were arrested on Tuesday in the Bournemouth area. They were a 41-year-old Bournemouth man arrested on suspicion of murder and aggravated burglary and a 44-year-old Bournemouth man and 40-year-old Bournemouth woman both arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary.

The Dorset force later said that a 40-year-old man from the Blandford area of Dorset was being held on suspicion of murder and aggravated burglary after handing himself in to police.

Guy Hedger was fatally injured in front of his partner in the early hours of Sunday morning. Photograph: Dorset police/PA

Simon-Pierre Hedger-Cooper, 48, reportedly Hedger’s husband of 12 years, was said to be traumatised after the shooting and being supported by family and police.

The burglary is believed to have been planned, and jewellery including designer watches was stolen from the detached house in Castlewood, St Ives, near Ringwood on the edge of the New Forest national park.

Officer were searching properties in Winterborne Stickland near Blandford and in Verney Close in West Howe in Bournemouth in connection with the investigation.

Police were called to the house in Castlewood just after 3am on Sunday in response to reports of intruders. Hedger was taken to hospital but died.

On Tuesday, 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.”

His work colleagues described him as talented, kind and generous. Hedger was the marketing and brand director for Liverpool Victoria (LV=) insurance company and was also marketing director at the Avonbourne International Business and Enterprise Academy Trust, which runs colleges and a primary school in Bournemouth.

Police believed the burglars, who were wearing balaclavas and armed with a shotgun, knew the six-bedroom house was a high-value property and would have anticipated that people might be at home.

Supt Kevin Connolly, of Dorset police, said: “We have worked tirelessly on this investigation which still continues even though arrests have been made. Our appeal still stands for anyone with information that could aid our investigation to come forward as any small detail may be important.”

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