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Man to appear in court charged with millionaire hotelier’s murder

Claire Hayhurst, PA
·3-min read

A man will appear in court charged with murdering a millionaire hotelier.

Dorset Police received a report raising concern for the welfare of the occupants of an address in Higher Langham near Gillingham at 7.30pm on April 7.

Officers attended the property and found Sir Richard Sutton, who owned a string of top hotels in London, and a woman aged in her 60s – named as Anne Schreiber – with serious injuries.

The force said it is believed both had sustained stab wounds.

Paramedics attended the scene but Sir Richard, 83, was pronounced dead at around 9.15pm.

An initial post-mortem examination conducted on Friday indicated that the cause of his death was stab wounds to his chest.

Richard Sutton death
Police in Gillingham, Dorset, following the death of Sir Richard Sutton (Jonathan Brady/PA)

A man was arrested on suspicion of murder in the Hammersmith area of London on the evening of April 7.

He was taken to hospital for treatment to injuries not believed to be life-threatening and was subsequently taken into police custody.

On Sunday, Dorset Police said Thomas Schreiber, 34 and from the Gillingham area, had been charged with murder, attempted murder and dangerous driving.

Schreiber is due to appear before Poole Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police, said: “Our thoughts remain with the victims’ family and all of those affected by this terrible incident.

“Following a detailed investigation, we have consulted with the Crown Prosecution Service.

“As a result, Dorset Police have been authorised to formally charge Thomas Schreiber with the murder of Sir Richard, attempted murder of the injured woman and dangerous driving.

“It is important to stress that it would be entirely inappropriate for Dorset Police to comment further ahead of the trial. It is vital that the criminal justice system is allowed to follow its course.”

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A spokesman for Sir Richard Sutton Ltd described Ms Schreiber as “a hugely important part of Sir Richard’s life” and wished her “a swift and full recovery”.

She was airlifted to Southmead Hospital in Bristol following the incident and remains there in a critical condition.

The spokesman added: “Though separated, Sir Richard also remained on good terms with his wife, Lady Fiamma, and very close to their children, who are mourning the loss of a devoted father.

“Employees across the group have been united in their shock at what has happened and will need time to come to terms with the loss of such an influential figure.”

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

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

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