A crown court judge has been told of the "enormousness" of the case being prepared against a Pembrokeshire man charged with two double murders as well as rape and robbery.

John William Cooper, aged 64, is charged with the murders of sister and brother Helen and Richard Thomas at Scoveston Manor in 1985, and the murders of Gwenda and Peter Dixon on the Pembrokeshire coastal path in 1989.

Swansea crown court heard on Wednesday that the prosecution had already sent to the defence more than half a million pages of evidence - and that was only the material that would not be used at the eventual trial.

The full case proper has yet to be served.

David Elias, prosecuting, said there was already "a vast amount of documentation" being assessed and yet more was expected.

After discussions between prosecuting and defending counsel, Judge John Diehl agreed to maintain October 16 as the date that Cooper will be asked to enter pleas.

However, after yesterday’s hearing, it seemed likely a second hearing would be required.

The court has already been warned that as many as 600 witnesses might give evidence, some of them from beyond the grave via statements made years ago.

Cooper, of Spring Gardens, Letterston, remains in custody.

In addition to the four murder charges Cooper is also accused of the rape of a woman, the indecent assault on a girl aged under 16, and five attempted robberies in Milford Haven, all in 1996.