The trial of John William Cooper, the man accused of murdering four people in Pembrokeshire, will begin in late October.

Cooper, aged 65, has been held at Long Lartin high security prison in Worcestershire for more than a year accused of the murder of brother and sister Richard and Helen Thomas at Scoveston Manor in 1985.

Cooper, who lived at Spring Gardens, Letterston, before his arrest, is also charged with the killings of Peter Dixon and his wife Gwenda four years later.

In addition, he is charged with a rape and indecent assault, unrelated to the murders, and to several attempted robberies, all during the 1990s.

Cooper's trial will begin on October 25 although the first few days may be taken up with legal argument. The prosecution may not open the case to the jury until October 27.

Swansea crown court is the likely venue although there is a possibility the trial will be switched to Merthyr.

Richard Thomas was 58 and his sister was aged 54 when their bodies were found in the burnt out remains of Scoveston Manor. Police later realised both had been shot before the fire started.

Peter Dixon, 51, and his 52 year old wife Gwenda, from Oxfordshire, were also shot dead. They were attacked as they walked the Pembrokeshire coastal footpath near Little Haven.