ONE of three men charged with murdering a businessman during an alleged botched burglary told police he was not involved, a court has heard.

Kevin Downton, 40 and of Winterborne Stickland, near Blandford, denies killing Guy Hedger in the early hours of April 30.

Prosecutors allege Mr Hedger was at his home in Castlewood, St Ives when two masked men broke in.

Mr Hedger, who was 61, sustained fatal shotgun wounds.

Downton is on trial at Winchester Crown Court.

When asked in police interview if he had been involved, the defendant replied: "I have no involvement in that address and I have no involvement in that murder," it was heard.

Asked if he had discharged a firearm at the address and shot Mr Hedger, he replied: "No."

Downton told police earlier that evening he had been shopping at Toys R Us in Poole to buy a birthday present for his daughter, it was said.

Jurors heard Downton had visited "two or three friends" on his way home, but when asked by officers for details, he replied: "I do not wish to discuss my friends with you, just because of the nature of this, I do not wish to implicate anyone.

"I see how serious it is, I do not like being involved in this and I do not think they would like to be as well."

He allegedly said he couldn't remember what time he returned home.

Downton and co-defendants Jason Baccus, 42, and Scott Keeping, 44, both of Verney Close, Bournemouth, all deny murder.

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

The three male defendants also pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated burglary, burglary and possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence.

The trial continues.