A 27-year-old North Devon man charged with murdering three pensioners appeared in court today (Saturday) for the first time.

Alexander Lewis-Ranwell, from Croyde, appeared at Exeter Magistrates’ Court accused of murdering Anthony Payne, aged 80, and twins Dick and Roger Carter, aged 84, in Exeter on February 10 and 12.

He is also accused of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to John Ellis in Barnstaple on February 9 and Stasys Belevicius in Exeter on February 11.

Mr Payne was found dead at an address in Bonhay Road on Monday while the bodies of the Carter twins were discovered at their home in Cowick Lane the following day.

The accused was arrested on Tuesday night and was charged last night (Friday) with the five offences.

Prosecuting, Joanna Clark invited magistrates to send the case to the Crown Court given the three murder charges faced by Lewis-Ranwell.

Katrina Byrne, representing the defendant, did not make any representations.

He was remanded in custody and will next appear before Exeter Crown Court on Monday for a bail hearing before a preliminary hearing on March 21.