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Sir Richard Sutton: who was millionaire hotelier murdered by Thomas Schreiber?

Sir Richard Sutton was murdered in a knife attack by Thomas Schreiber at his estate near Gillingham

<p>Thomas Schreiber murdered Sir Richard Sutton and attempted to murder his mum Anne Schreiber.</p>

Thomas Schreiber murdered Sir Richard Sutton and attempted to murder his mum Anne Schreiber.

Thomas Schreiber was jailed for at least 36 years for murdering millionaire hotelier Sir Richard Sutton in a fatal knife attack.

He also tried to kill his mum, Sir Richard’s partner, Anne Schreiber during the horrifying incident.

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During his sentencing hearing a letter written by him to the judge was read out in which he expressed his “shame” for his actions and said he wished he’d sought help for his mental health.

Who was Sir Richard Sutton?

Sir Richard was one of the UK’s wealthiest people and featured in the Sunday Times Rich List in 2017 with assets valued at over £200 million.

He had an extensive property and farming portfolio, including the 6,500-acre Benham Estate in West Berkshire and the Stainton Estate in Lincolnshire.

He was listed at number 435 in The Sunday Times Rich List in 2020 with an estimated family fortune of £301 million – a rise of £83 million on the previous year.

The guide said Sir Richard’s company owns London hotels the Sheraton Grand Park Lane and the Athenaeum, plus three smaller venues.

Thomas Schreiber

What happened to him?

The attack on 7 April this year happened at Sir Richard’s Moorhill estate near Gillingham, Dorset, which he shared with the Schreiber family following the separation of the defendant’s parents.

Schreiber, who had been living with Sir Richard, 83, and his mother Anne, 66, had contacted a number of people he knew on the evening of the attack and made comments that raised concerns for their welfare.

The trial heard Schreiber was angry with his mother for “abandoning” his father, who suffered from depression, to move in with Sir Richard.

He launched the knife attack on the pair on the eighth anniversary of the death of his alcoholic father, David Schreiber, after he said his mother shouted at him for being “drunk like his father”.

He told the court: “I just went completely crazy, I completely snapped and I just launched for her and began attacking her uncontrollably.”

Sir Richard, a father-of-two and grandfather-of-five, suffered three deep wounds to his face and five to his chest, up to 12cm deep.

He was pronounced dead at the scene at around 9.15pm

Ms Schreiber suffered up to 15 separate injuries including wounds to her head and body including a partially severed spinal cord which has left her paralysed.

Sir Richard Sutton and and Anne Schreiber

What have his family said?

In a statement after the sentencing Sir Richard’s family said: “We welcome the outcome of the trial and that justice has been seen to be done.

“However, this was a tragic and devastating loss of life, taken far too early, of a generous, loving, elderly man who only wanted to enjoy his twilight years; an elderly man who was our father, a brother, a grandfather and a friend to all who knew him.

“We will treasure our memories of him forever and his values, of being warm and compassionate to all those he met and worked with, will live on; as will the love, respect and devotion he showed to his family and friends every day.

“In business, Sir Richard had a passion for excellence, whether in his hotels, property or farming interests.

“The British countryside has lost an amazing champion who was, above all, an active and committed farmer.

“He taught us all about the importance of protecting and preserving the environment around us and the need to leave it in a better place for future generations.

“We will never forget him, nor his never-ending kindness and generosity. He will be sorely missed.”

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