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Man, 34, pleads not guilty to murder of millionaire hotelier Sir Richard Sutton

By PA News

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A 34-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to the murder of millionaire hotelier Sir Richard Sutton.

Thomas Schreiber, of Gillingham, Dorset, also entered not guilty pleas to the attempted murder of his mother Anne Schreiber – who was Sir Richard’s partner – and driving a Range Rover dangerously on the A303 and the M3.

During the hearing at Winchester Crown Court, Adam Feest QC, prosecuting, said that psychiatric reports were being prepared on the defendant.

Judge Angela Morris adjourned the case for trial, which is set to take place on November 29 at the same court with a pre-trial hearing on October 8.

Police at Moorhill in Gillingham following the death of Sir Richard Sutton (PA)
Police at Moorhill in Gillingham following the death of Sir Richard Sutton (PA)

Remanding the defendant, who appeared in court wearing a grey jumper, into custody, she told him: “It’s really important that you co-operate with your legal team and also with the psychiatrist who is in the process of preparing the report on you. You will remain in custody in the meantime.”

Police were called to an address in Higher Langham, near Gillingham, Dorset, at 7.30pm on April 7.

They found Sir Richard, who owned a string of top hotels in London, and Ms Schreiber with serious injuries.

Sir Richard, 83, was pronounced dead at the scene at about 9.15pm. An initial post-mortem examination indicated that the cause of death was stab wounds to his chest, police previously said.

Ms Schreiber was airlifted to Southmead Hospital in Bristol. Mr Feest said that she had since recovered enough from her injuries to provide a DNA sample for the police investigation.

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

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