A 27-year-old man from Croyde who is accused of a triple murder in Exeter has been remanded in custody by a judge at Exeter Crown Court today (Monday).

Alexander Lewis-Ranwell was not present at the short procedural hearing in front of Judge Peter Johnson and no application for bail was made.

Lewis-Ranwell is charged with the murder of twins, Dick and Roger Carter, aged 84, and Anthony Payne aged 80 at their homes in Cowick Lane and Bonhay Road, Exeter, last week.

He is also accused of two offences of causing grievous bodily harm with intent on 9 February in Goodleigh and 11 February in Exeter.

He was not produced for the preliminary hearing at which Judge Johnson set a date of March 14 for a plea and case management hearing. Lewis-Ranwell is likely to be present at that hearing.

The judge also set a provisional trial date for July 1 in front of a high court judge at Exeter.

He said any application for bail is likely to be refused on grounds of the risk of further offending and the risk of failure to attend.

Lee Bremridge, defending, said it is intended to appoint a Queen's counsel to present the defence case.

Former public schoolboy Lewis-Ranwell first appeared at Exeter Magistrates on Saturday, February 16, and the law requires the case of anyone who is accused of murder to he transferred to the Crown Court straight away.

Lewis-Ranwell, who is now of no fixed abode, was arrested after a massive police investigation into the murders of the three pensioners, whose bodies were found on Monday and Tuesday of last week.

The cases were linked because they had suffered similar serious head injuries.