A man has been remanded in custody by Exeter magistrates charged with murdering three pensioners in the city. Alexander Lewis-Ranwell, 27, is accused of murdering Anthony Payne, 80, and twins Dick and Roger Carter, 84.

Lewis Ranwell, previously from Croyde but currently of no fixed address, is also accused of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to John Ellis in Barnstaple on February 9. He faces the same charge in relation to Stasys Belevicius in Exeter on February 11.

The bearded defendant, wearing a grey top, spoke throughout the brief hearing. He stood in the dock of courtroom one, flanked by custody staff and police officers.

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 home of twins Dick and Roger Carter in Cowick Lane. Credit: PA

Lewis-Ranwell was arrested on Tuesday evening. Devon and Cornwall Police charged him with the three murders and two charges of grievous bodily harm on Friday evening.

He was remanded in custody and will next appear before Exeter Crown Court on Monday.