ONE of two men jailed for a minimum of 34 years for the murder of businessman Guy Hedger has been refused permission to appeal his conviction.

Kevin Downton applied for leave to appeal but his application has been turned down for the second and final time.

Mr Hedger, 61, was gunned down at the home he shared with husband Simon-Pierre Hedger-Cooper in Avon Castle, St Ives, near Ringwood in April 2017.

He was blasted with a shotgun after a panic alarm at the £1million plus home was activated.

Jewellery and designer watches worth more than £120,000 were among the items stolen from Mr Hedger's home

Downton, 42, from Winterborne Stickland in north Dorset, and Jason Baccus, from Verney Close, West Howe, Bournemouth were jailed for life at Winchester Crown Court in January last year.

The judge told them they must serve at least 34 years behind bars before they can be considered for release.

Antiques dealer Jamie Evans was also jailed for four years for handling stolen goods and possession of an offensive weapon in relation to the case.

Life sentences for two men convicted of murdering Guy Hedger during "amateurish and incompetent" botched burglary

Downton's bid to appeal was first thrown out by a single judge at London's Court of Appeal, then by a panel of three judges after it was referred to them.

Mr Hedger was a marketing director at insurance firm Liverpool Victoria and one of the founder members of the Avonbourne Trust, which runs several schools in Bournemouth.

He had been married to Mr Hedger-Cooper for 12 years and the couple were disturbed in their bedroom before he was shot.

Following his murder, his family released a statement which said: "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 private."