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 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.
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’.
Hotelier Sir Richard Lexington Sutton (pictured), 83, was found stabbed to death inside his £2million home in north Dorset, last night
The millionaire landowner, who is divorced from first wife Italian Fiamma Sutton, has two children, son, David, 61, and daughter, Caroline, 55, (pictured) as well as five grandchildren
Police rushed to the scene after receiving a call from a member of the public concerned for the welfare of the occupants of the house. Pictured: Police at the £2million property earlier today
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. Pictured: Police at the scene of earlier today
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. Pictured: A map showing how police tracked the suspect from Dorset to London last night
Sir Richard is the owner of the luxurious five-star Sheraton Grand (pictured) in London’s prestigious Park Lane
Sir Richard also owned the luxury Athenaeum Hotel and Spa on London’s Piccadilly Road
The 34-year-old suspect meanwhile was subsequently taken to hospital for treatment to injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.
WHO IS MILLIONAIRE HOTELIER SIR RICHARD SUTTON – AND HOW MUCH IS HIS FAMILY WORTH?
Hotelier Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, 83 – whose family title dates back to the time of King James I and whose property empire is thought to be double that of 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 prefic ‘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.
Hugh Clement Sutton, son of The Henry George Sutton, sixth son of the second Baronet, was a Major-General in the British Army.
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.
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.
‘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.
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
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
Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, 9th Baronet, was head of the Sutton family, which owns land in Dorset, Berkshire, London and Lincolnshire and Aberdeenshire. Pictured: Police had taped of the entrance to the property earlier today
A police van was parked at the entrance to the Dorset property earlier today, as they investigated the incident
Their family has been informed and the Dorset coroner has been notified of the death.
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 Lexington Sutton, 9th Baronet, was head of the Sutton family, which owns land in Dorset, Berkshire, London and Lincolnshire and Aberdeenshire.
Sir Richard inherited his title and estate from his father in 1981 and was worth an estimated £301m in May 2020, placing him 435th on the Sunday Times’ Rich List. Pictured: Police at the scene today
Officers were earlier today seen searching a wooded area of the estate, near to Gillingham in Dorset
He married wife Fiamma in 1959, but the pair are said to have divorced. It is believe she now lives at a farm in a village near Hungerford, Berks.
His second wife, named locally as Ms Schreiber, is believed to have three children, two daughters and one son.
She owns and runs The London Road clinic in Sherborne, Dorset, an exclusive clinic with services such as osteopathy, physiotherapy and counselling.
Today local MP Simon Hoare, who knew Sir Richard Sutton well, paid tribute to the landowner who he said was a ‘country gentleman’.
The Conservative MP for North Dorset described the incident as ‘deeply awful’ and said he received a ‘full briefing’ on it from police today.
Mr Hoare MP, 51, said: ‘I knew him, strangely enough I knew him before I was an MP as my company did a lot of work for his estate many years ago.
‘He was a charming man, he had a very good sense of humour, he was politically astute and genial.
‘If you wanted to conjure up a picture of a country gentleman then that was him.
‘It is a huge loss for his family in what is clearly deeply awful circumstances.’
Mr Hoare MP also said: ‘This is not the sort of thing you expect to see happening in North Dorset nor the sort of thing we are used to seeing here.
‘Based on what I have been told by the police there is cause for shock and sadness but no cause or reason for alarm.’
The politician added that he is hoping medics are able to help save the injured woman in her 60s as ‘one murder is shocking but a double murder would be chilling’.
Mr Hoare MP said he would not disclose details about the circumstances of the incident nor the identity of the 34 year old man who has been arrested.