Man accused of killing millionaire hotelier Sir Richard Sutton ‘felt unloved’ by his family


Thomas Schreiber, who is accused of trying to kill his mother and murdering her partner Sir Richard Sutton, felt ‘trapped’ by lockdown and ‘controlled’ by the financial help the hotelier provided

Pictured: Sir Sutton Richard.
One of Britain's richest men was stabbed to death by his partner's son in a 'ferocious and sustained' revenge attack because he harboured years of resentment at their unfair treatment of him, 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, it is alleged.
A jury today heard he launched the vicious attack at Sir Richard's £2m 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'.
Sir Richard Sutton was one of Britain’s richest men

A man accused of killing hotelier Sir Richard Sutton felt unloved and unwanted by his family, a court heard.

Thomas Schreiber, who is also accused of trying to kill his mother, felt ‘trapped’ by lockdown and ‘controlled’ by financial help the hotelier provided.

He also claimed he felt ‘controlled’ by the £1,000 per month allowance the multi-millionaire gave him, a court has heard.

The 35 year old’s friends today told a jury he ‘wanted desperately to move out’ of the £2m mansion he was staying at rent free, but felt ‘restrained’ by the money because he did not know how he was going to support himself without it.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Thomas Schreiber (right) with his counsel, Joe Stone QC



Sir Richard died following the attack, which came after months of resentment at how he and Anne Schreiber had treated Schreiber’s father David following their divorce.

The hotelier had a knife plunged 12cm into his heart while Mrs Schreiber, 66, was stabbed so many times during the ‘vicious assault’ at Sir Richard’s £2m country mansion she was left paralysed from the neck down and breathing through a ventilator.

The ‘Moorhill’ estate in the hamlet of Higher Langham near Gillingham, Dorset, was left covered in blood and looking like a ‘warzone’ following the frenzied attack on the eighth anniversary of Schreiber’s father’s death.

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The jury at Winchester Crown Court, Hants, heard from three friends of Schreiber.

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Tommy Clark, a 45-year-old photographer, had known Schreiber since 2009 and even visited him at Moorhill in Spring 2019.

He said: “I noticed he was becoming more depressed and frustrated with his life situation – he seemed to become more sensitive and more negative about his future.

“He wanted desperately to move out, he wanted to find his place in the world and was developing an interest in art and started to paint regularly but he was just quite negative in his outlook.

“Five days before the incident I called him to talk about good news I had… he seemed extra happy as if I was relieving him from a dark place.

Picture Dorset Police taken from the body-worn video footage of armed police officers arriving at Moorhill

“He couldn’t wait to get out of home, see other people, have a social life, he just wrote to me that he hated lockdown, he hated the scenario he was in and wanted to move out.”

Graham Booth, a 61-year-old market research consultant, was introduced to Schreiber by his sister Louisa in 2019.

He said the family dynamic at Moorhill seemed ‘extremely dysfunctional…Tom was not close to his mother and not at all keen on Richard’.

He added: “I think he felt unloved, unwanted and regarded with a degree of disdain and disregard by his mother and Richard.

Court artist sketch of Thomas Schreiber, listening to his mother Anne Schreiber, who appeared via video link, at Winchester Crown



“Lockdown didn’t help at all, things got a lot worse in lockdown, I think Tom felt trapped…I think there was significant deterioration in the house.

“I was very concerned for his mental health…he and I talked a lot about getting him out of the house.

“I think things got worse and worse for him because he did feel trapped…he felt there was no escape from what he was experiencing there.

“[The money] was a curse as well as a gift because as long as he was receiving this money he felt controlled by it… that was my perception.

A letter written by Thomas Schreiber that he planned to send to his mother



“It was what constrained him, clearly that was a factor restraining him from going, he wasn’t clear how he was going to support himself if he wasn’t there and wasn’t receiving that allowance.”

Joel Crozer, a 33-year-old music producer, met Schreiber in 2005 when they went to high school together in Denmark.

He said they spoke several times about Schreiber wanting to get out of the ‘toxic environment but ‘the lockdown prohibited that’.

Schreiber claimed he picked up the knife when he heard a voice in his head saying ‘attack, attack’ after he ‘completely lost it’ when his mother branded him ‘drunk just like your father’.

The 35-year-old sent images of the paintings to his friend James Reid along with messages saying he was planning “revenge”



Mrs Schreiber, the only living witness of the attack which left her paralysed and suffering from poor memory, said she remembered a ‘kerfuffle’ which made her turn around to see her son walk into the kitchen and pick up the knife from a block on the kitchen island.

The jury previously heard how Schreiber living with the couple at the sprawling country estate became a ‘vicious triangle’ as Sir Richard became ‘consumed’ with trying to get rid of the aspiring painter.

His daughter Caroline Sutton even said the hotelier paid Schreiber £100,000 for a house deposit in a desperate attempt to get him to leave his home.

Sir Richard, who last year was listed at number 435 in the Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated family fortune of £301 million, was killed following rows with Schreiber about the inheritance of a family chandelier and a day at the races.

File court artist sketch of Thomas Schreiber as seen from a video link



The 83-year-old 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.

Schreiber has admitted manslaughter over the hotelier’s death but denies murdering him. He pleads not guilty to the attempted murder of his mother.

He has also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on the night of the killing after he fled in a Range Rover and was captured by police after a 135mph high-speed chase from Wiltshire to London.

Thomas Schreiber appearing at Winchester Crown Court



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 with a kitchen knife.

The prosecution alleges Schreiber repeatedly knifed his ‘toxic and gold digging’ mother and Sir Richard after fantasising for months about their murders.

Sir Richard had two children by his first wife Fiamma, and five grandchildren.

Mrs Schreiber, a Danish-born physiotherapist who has a practice in Milborne Port, Dorset, has three grown-up children including son Thomas.

The trial continues.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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