One of Britain’s richest men Sir Richard Sutton ‘was stabbed to death by his stepson, 35, who was consumed with hatred and contemplated murder morning, day and night’, court hears
One of Britain’s richest men was stabbed to death in a ‘ferocious and sustained’ attack by his partner’s son who was ‘consumed with hatred and contemplated murder morning, day and night’, a court heard today.
Thomas Schreiber repeatedly knifed his ‘toxic and gold digging’ mother Anne Schreiber and hotel tycoon Sir Richard Sutton after fantasising for months about their murders, prosecutors say.
A jury today heard he launched the vicious attack at Sir Richard’s £2million country mansion after ‘many years of feeling isolated and unfairly treated by all his family’ and becoming ‘consumed with hatred’ for the couple.
In a chilling text about a month before the killings, the 35-year-old told a friend ‘I contemplate murdering them all morning, day and night’.
Using a kitchen knife he stabbed Sir Richard to death and used another blade to inflict more than ten stab wounds on his mother before leaving her dying on the kitchen floor.
After he fled in a Range Rover, police descended on the estate in the hamlet of Higher Langham, near Gillingham, Dorset, to find the horrific scene.
Thomas Schreiber is accused of seriously injuring his mother Anne Schreiber, 65, (left) and killing her partner Sir Richard Sutton (right), who suffered fatal stab wounds in April this year
Thomas, 35, pictured with his mother Anne, has denied murder and attempted murder
Jurors were today told it was only the actions of police and medics that saved 65-year-old Mrs Shreiber’s life by restarting her heart.
She was airlifted to Southmead Hospital in Bristol where it was discovered she had suffered ‘severe and life changing injuries’.
Sir Richard’s body was found on the landing, after he was initially attacked downstairs and limped upstairs where Schreiber is said to have stabbed him a further five times in the chest.
Schreiber was captured by police a few hours later after a high speed chase and a ‘hard stop’ in London.
Winchester Crown Court today heard he had told a friend he ‘couldn’t stand and didn’t have a good word to say about’ Sir Richard, who last year was listed at number 435 in the Sunday Times Rich List, with an estimated family fortune of £301 million.
Sir Richard, 83, owned a sprawling property empire and more than 7,000 acres of land, including the five-star Sheraton Grand on London’s Park Lane and the Athenaeum hotel in Mayfair.
The jury was told Sir Richard, (above) who was one of Britain’s richest men, was stabbed multiple times during an attack by his step son Thomas Schreiber at their home in Gillingham
Prosecutor Adam Feest QC said armed police smashed through the glass door of the conservatory of their mansion, called Moorhill, on April 7 following numerous 999 calls.
He said: ‘Police had gone there in response to 999 calls from a number of people telling them that Thomas Schreiber was saying that he had killed his mother and Sir Richard, and was going to take his own life.
‘They discovered that Moorhill had been the setting of a ferocious and sustained attack by the defendant upon his two victims.
‘It was an attack that left Anne Schreiber barely conscious and dying on the floor of the kitchen.
‘With slashes across her face and stab wounds to her front, it was the multiple stab wounds to her back – numbering into double figures – that were the main source of the significant blood loss that she was suffering from.
‘It was only through the quick actions of the police carrying her out of the house to the waiting paramedics, and then the treatment she received from them and the doctors at the hospital that she survived, albeit with severe and life-changing injuries.
Police guard Sir Richard’s £2million property in the Dorset hamlet of Higher Langham in April
‘The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for Sir Richard. As the police went around the house carefully checking each room was clear, they came across his motionless and bloodied body at the end of the upstairs landing just outside his bedroom.
‘He had suffered five stab wounds to an area just under his left armpit, grouped together in a way which indicates he could barely have moved whilst they were inflicted.
‘Two were deep enough to puncture the lung, one of these going into one of the main blood vessels and the other piercing his heart.
‘Death from these injuries would have been rapid, showing that he was attacked where he was found.
‘However, these were not the only injuries he had sustained.
‘Defensive wounds to his hands and significant slashing and cutting injuries to his face would have bled copiously.
Thomas Schreiber, 35, has denied the murder of Sir Richard and the attempted murder of his mother Anne Schreiber and is currently on trial at Winchester Crown Court (pictured)
‘At least some of these must have been inflicted downstairs as his blood was found in the kitchen, the study, and in the pantry.’
Two bloodied knives and a trail of blood were discovered at the property and messages on Schreiber’s phone revealed he had been ‘harbouring increasingly strong feelings of resentment and hatred towards his mother and her partner’.
Mr Feest added: ‘Built upon a foundation of many years of feeling isolated and unfairly treated by all his family, and fed by being forced to live at Moorhill due to the pandemic and the many injustices he felt had been perpetrated against him, these feelings had led the defendant to repeatedly consider revenge and violence against his “toxic” and “gold digging” mother and Sir Richard, a man he told a friend he couldn’t stand and didn’t have a good word to say about.’
In one message to a friend in March 2021, Schreiber wrote: ‘I’m so sad to report that my mind is consumed with hatred of the very worst kind towards my family.
‘They really hurt me, betrayed me and destroyed all trust. Simply put I contemplate murdering them all morning, day and night. It’s not what I want to think about but it’s the truth. I want them to suffer.’
Mr Feest concluded: ‘The fatal attack upon Sir Richard upstairs on the landing was separated in both time and space from the attacks downstairs.
‘Sir Richard’s movements through the ground floor, up the stairs and into his own bedroom and bathroom, show that there was a significant lull in proceedings between the violence in the kitchen and the final fatal episode of violence upstairs.
‘In this pause, perhaps having heard Sir Richard moving about upstairs, the defendant has selected a second weapon, gone upstairs and killed his victim by stabbing him to the heart. This, the prosecution say, is a clear case of murder.’
Schreiber has admitted manslaughter over the multi-millionaire’s death but denies murder.
Regarding his mother, he pleads not guilty to attempted murder.
He has also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on the night of the killing.
Sir Richard had two children by his first wife Fiamma, and five grandchildren.
Mrs Shreiber, a Danish-born physiotherapist who has a practice in Milborne Port, Dorset, has three grown-up children including son Thomas.
The trial continues