One of Britain’s richest men, worth £301million, has been found stabbed to death in his country mansion. Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, an 83-year-old Baronet, was attacked inside his £2million home in Higher Langham, near Gillingham, Dorset on Wednesday, April 7.
A woman, thought to be his second wife, named Anne Schreiber, 60, is also believed to have suffered knife injuries in the attack at the home, named Moorhill. The female victim, who is aged in her 60s, was airlifted to the Southmead Hospital in Bristol. Her condition was today described as ‘critical’. Police reportedly rushed to the scene after receiving a call from a member of the public concerned for the welfare of the occupants of the house at 7.30pm. When they got there they found Sir Richard with fatal knife wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 9.15pm.
A 34-year-old man from the Gillingham area was arrested on suspicion of murder and was subsequently taken to hospital for injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening. Police have confirmed the suspect is known to the victim, who bought the Moorhill country estate in 2014 for £1.4million. Alongside his two Park Lane hotels he owned a swathe of property and farms across the country. In total he and his family own close to 7,000 acres of land across the UK – more than double the amount owned by the MoD.
A spokesman for the Sir Richard Sutton Limited (SRSL) said today: ‘We are deeply saddened and devastated by the sudden death of Sir Richard Sutton, announced this morning. ‘Sir Richard was a caring, generous and warm family man, who genuinely regarded those who worked for him as part of his extended family. ‘Sir Richard was passionately devoted to both his company and its people, setting the highest and standards for quality in the hotels, farming and property interests within the group.
‘His loss will be felt by everyone within the company, those who worked with him, and his family who have lost an incredible individual. Our thoughts are with the Sutton family at this tragic time.’ Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: ‘Our thoughts are with the family of the man who sadly died and the injured woman at this extremely difficult time and they are being supported by specially-trained officers.
‘We will be carrying out a full investigation to establish exactly what happened at the address in Higher Langham and I would appeal to anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area on the evening of April 7 to please contact us. ‘A cordon remains in place at the address and there will continue to be a heavy police presence in the vicinity as we carry out enquiries. ‘Officers can be approached by members of the public with any information or concerns
Sir Richard was described as an ‘old English gentry landowner’ who was worth an estimated £301million and was at number 435 on the Sunday Times Rich List. He was head of the Sutton family, which owns land in Dorset, Berkshire, London and Lincolnshire, and Aberdeenshire.
The millionaire landowner, who is divorced from first wife Italian Fiamma Sutton, has two children, son, David, 61, and daughter, Caroline, 55, as well as five grandchildren. His second wife, named locally as Ms. Schreiber, is believed to have three children, two daughters, and one son.