A POTENTIAL jury has been chosen to try the case of three men accused of the murder of a businessman who was shot dead during an alleged botched burglary.

Guy Hedger suffered a shotgun injury in the early hours of April 30 after intruders entered his £1 million home in Castlewood, St Ives.

A post-mortem examination found that the 61-year-old died as a result of gunshot wounds, Dorset Police said.

Jason Baccus, 42, and Scott Keeping, 44, both of Verney Close, Bournemouth, along with Kevin Downton, 40, of Winterborne Stickland, near Blandford, have all pleaded not guilty to murder.

Helen Keeping, 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.

Mr Justice Jay told the potential jurors at Winchester Crown Court: "The case I am trying involves an alleged aggravated burglary and murder which took place in Castlewood, Ringwood, on April 30 2017.

"This case is expected to take until December 22 to complete; however, there is a risk the case might take longer."

A panel of jurors has been selected to be sworn in on Wednesday before prosecutor Nigel Lickley QC opens the case.

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.