Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, 83, suffered stab wounds in attack at £2million home near Gillingham in Dorset
Multi-millionaire hotelier Sir Richard Sutton, 83, is stabbed to death and wife in her 60s fights for her life after attack at their £2m Dorset mansion as man ‘known to them’ is arrested after being tracked 100 miles to London.
One of Britain’s richest men has been found stabbed to death in his country mansion, it was revealed today. Hotelier Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, 83, was attacked inside his £2million home in north Dorset, last night.
The Baronet – whose family title dates back to the time of King George III and whose property empire is thought to be double that of the Ministry of Defence – is estimated to be worth £301million.
A woman, thought to be his second wife, named locally as Anne Schreiber, is also believed to have suffered knife injuries in the attack at the home, named Moorhill.
Sir Richard – described as an ‘old English gentry land owner’ – recently ranked at number 435 on the Sunday Times Rich List and owned the five-star Sheraton Grand on London’s prestigious Park Lane and the luxury Athenaeum in Piccadilly.
He also owned other hotels in Bath, Cheltenham and Windsor, and had farming and property businesses.
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.
Last night police arrested a 34-year-old man, known to Sir Richard, on suspicion of murder.
Detectives had earlier tracked a Range Rover more than 100 miles across four different counties to Hammersmith in London, where they made the arrest.
The female victim, who is aged in her 60s, was airlifted to the Southmead Hospital in Bristol. Her condition was today described as ‘critical’.
Pictures of a car accident in Chiswick, London, showed a Range Rover driver being carried away in a stretcher after he was found to have suffered ‘a number of serious self-inflicted injuries’.
The man was pulled from the vehicle after suffering five stab wounds, according to an eyewitness.
He received medical treatment for more than an hour, by police with a defibrillator to begin with before paramedics took over.
The motorist was eventually put on a stretcher with an oxygen mask and taken to hospital in an ambulance.
A police statement said: ‘At approximately 22:30hrs on Wednesday, 7 April, police stopped a vehicle in Chiswick High Road. When they approached the vehicle, officers discovered that the lone male occupant had sustained a number of serious self-inflicted injuries.
‘First aid was commenced immediately and the London Ambulance Service were called. The male was taken to a west London hospital. His injuries have been assessed as non-life threatening.’ The Metropolitan Police operation involved armed police, police dog handlers and the force helicopter.
An eyewitness told MailOnline this evening: ‘I counted about 17 police cars and two ambulances. The whole street was bathed in flashing blue lights.
‘There had been two or three large bangs, which drew me to the window.
‘I saw what looked to be a Range Rover that had come to a stop between two police 4x4s and a BMW X5.
‘The police swarmed around the Range Rover and the driver was brought out and laid out on the road.
Hotelier Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, 83 – who owns twice as much land as the Ministry of Defence – is estimated to be worth £301million. He is a baronet, a hereditary honour awarded by the monarch.
It is the lowest-ranking hereditary title, but baronets are able to use the prefix ‘sir. The Sutton Baronetcy of Norwood Park in the County of Nottingham, dates back to October 1772.
It was created by King George III for politician Richard Sutton.
He was the second surviving son of the distinguished diplomat Sir Robert Sutton.
The latter was the grandson of Henry Sutton, brother of Robert Sutton, 1st Baron Lexinton.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, the family seat was at Benham Place. However, the house was sold in 1982.
Sir Richard Sutton’s estates is still worth several million pounds.
‘He was clearly in some distress, the police crowded around him and began to assess his injuries.
‘They cut his clothes off, his shirt and trousers, and then wrapped him in a silver foil wrap as they administered first aid.
‘I saw an officer go to the back of the X5 and bring out what looked like a defibrillator. The ambulances showed up a short while later.
‘The paramedics took over the medical treatment. The driver of the Range Rover appeared to be conscious as the officers were talking to him and I could see him move slightly.
‘After maybe an hour to 90-minutes he was placed on a stretcher with an oxygen mask over his mouth and placed in the back of one of the ambulances.
‘The police remained at the scene all night. My flat is directly above the Chiswick High Road and I could see a senior officer briefing his officers afterwards.
‘I heard him say “five stab wounds” which I took to be the injuries of the driver they’d stopped.
‘It was a big, big operation. There were armed police everywhere and a dog unit. At least two helicopters hovered overhead.
‘The forensics arrived in the early hours and were searching the scene of the stop. They were there until about 4am this morning.’
The crash was captured on camera by resident Maureen Kane, 50, whose flat overlooks the street.
Ms Kane, who works in video marketing, told how up to 40 police officer attended the scene.
She said: ‘I just heard a loud screech of cars swerving and then crash sounds.
‘Then I looked out of my window and saw lots of armed police jumping on top of a car and aiming guns at a man and all around his car.
‘He was a white male in his 30s and seemed to be injured.
‘It looked pretty bad but I’m not sure if he was injured in a crash or if police shot him.
‘He was naked as they ripped his clothes off and pulled him out of the car.
‘I was scared as I thought it was a terrorist and there were so many police officer with guns.
‘About 10 policemen surrounded him until an ambulance arrived.
‘Then I saw another 30 or 40 police cars arrive and lots of people were shouting with guns.’
The ambulance arrived within 30 minutes, Ms Kane said, adding: ‘Police were still in the road and had all the roads blocked for hours after this until I went to bed at 2am.
‘I’ve not heard anything about it from my neighbours or anything since.’
Sir Richard was found with fatal stab wounds following the attack at his large detached home near Gillingham, Dorset. He bought the Moorhill country estate, set in the tiny hamlet of Higher Langham, in 2014 for £1.4million.
Sir Richard, who inherited his estate with his baronetcy in 1981, has today been described as an ‘old English gentry landowner’.
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.
The property is a large detached home in a tiny hamlet, near Gillingham, Dorset. Pictured: Flowers left at the scene today, as police continue their investigation +22
The property is a large detached home in a tiny hamlet, near Gillingham, Dorset. Pictured: Flowers left at the scene today, as police continue their investigation
A woman, believed to be his wife, also suffered knife injuries in the attack at the home, named Moorhill. Pictured: Police at the scene today +22
A woman, believed to be his wife, also suffered knife injuries in the attack at the home, named Moorhill. Pictured: Police at the scene today
‘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.’
Today three police vans were seen at the entrance to a long drive which leads to the remote property, while forensics officers were observed inside.
A neighbour said: ‘The Suttons live there. They have two grown up children and grandchildren.
‘It is just awful. You would never imagine something like this could happen. They are lovely people.’
A local farmer said: ‘I saw a search helicopter with a spotlight overhead last night and then an air ambulance landed. ‘The people who live there is an old English gentry landowner and his wife.’
Another neighbour said they were aware of police helicopters flying over the house for a number of hours. – dailymail.co.uk