The ‘stepson’ of murdered multi-millionaire hotelier Sir Richard Sutton has appeared in court with bandaged hands charged with killing him.
Thomas Schreiber, 34, is alleged to have stabbed 84-year-old Sir Richard, one of Britain’s most richest men, in an attack at his country mansion on April 7.
He is also charged with the attempted murder of his mother, Anne Schreiber, 65, during at Moorhill in the hamlet of Higher Langham, near Gillingham, Dorset.
Wearing a grey sweatshirt, he was flanked by a security guard as he appeared in the dock at Poole Magistrates’ Court today.
He had a thick bandage wrapped around his right hand and wrist and also had a bandage on the little finger of his left hand. He was taken to hospital after his arrest.
A softly spoken Schreiber had to repeat his name, date of birth of October 19, 1986 and address of Moorhill, for the court as he couldn’t be heard at first.
Sir Richard Sutton, who owned a string of top hotels in London, and died last Wednesday
Thomas Schreiber (pictured above), 34, was detained on Wednesday night and has been charged with murder, attempted murder and dangerous driving and is due before magistrates in Poole on Monday
Court artist sketch of Thomas Schreiber, 34, appearing at Poole Magistrates Court today
The court clerk read out the two charges the defendant faces along with a third count of dangerous driving on the A303 and M3 in relation to the night of the alleged attack.
Siobhan Oxley, prosecuting, told magistrates: ‘It is an indictable only offence and therefore bail cannot be granted.’
Abdullah Al-Yunusi, defending, made no representations.
The five minute hearing was adjourned and Schreiber, who has short fair hair and is clean shaven, will appear at Winchester Crown Court tomorrow.
Mrs Caroline Foster, presiding magistrate, told him: ‘You will appear at Winchester Crown Court tomorrow morning at 10am. You are to be remanded in custody.’
Police were called to Sir Richard’s £2m home at about 7.30pm on April 7.
Mr Schreiber moved in permanently with his mother and stepfather (pictured) last year when the country was plunged into its first coronavirus lockdown
The millionaire landowner, who is divorced from first wife Lady Fiamma Sutton, has two children, son, David, 61, and daughter, Caroline, 55, (pictured) as well as five grandchildren
An aerial view of Sir Richard’s sprawling estate in Dorset surrounded by countryside
A wider view of the estate. Sir Richard’s wealth was put at £301 million in May 2020, placing him 435th on The Sunday Times Rich List
Sir Richard Sutton: Baronet and hotelier with 7,000 acres of land and a £301million fortune
Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, 83, is estimated to be worth £301million and owns around 7,000 acres of land across the UK.
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 became the ninth baronet of Norwood Park, Nottingham, in 1981, after inheriting the title from his father.
Sir Richard 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.
He owned the Sheraton Grand on London’s prestigious Park Lane and the Athenaeum in Piccadilly, in addition to other hotels in Bath, Cheltenham and Windsor, and land in Dorset, Berkshire, London, Lincolnshire and Aberdeenshire, and several farming and property businesses.
His landholdings include the Benham Estate in West Berkshire and the Stainton Estate in Lincolnshire.
He had suffered stab wounds to the chest and was pronounced dead at the scene at 9.15pm.
An initial post-mortem examination that was conducted on Friday indicated that the cause of death was stab wounds to his chest.
Mrs Schreiber was airlifted to Southmead Hospital in Bristol, where she remains in a critical condition.
Schreiber was arrested by police about three hours after the call to the police in Hammersmith, west London.
Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Polices Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT), said: ‘Our thoughts remain with the victims’ family and all of those affected by this terrible incident.’
On Sunday, Dorset Police said Mr Schreiber, 34, had been charged with murder, attempted murder and dangerous driving.
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.’
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.