Thomas Schreiber plunged a knife 12cm into Sir Richard’s heart, stabbing him to death, before using another knife to attack his mother Anne at their £2m mansion
A son convicted of murdering millionaire hotelier Sir Richard Sutton in an attack that paralysed his own mother has been jailed for life and told he will serve at least 36 years.
Thomas Schreiber fatally attacked the 83-year-old and attempted to murder his mother Anne Schreiber, 63, following years of hatred and resentment which led to an “explosion of violence” at Sir Richard’s £2m mansion.
The 35-year-old had previously admitted the manslaughter of his mum’s partner Sir Richard – who as one of Britain’s richest men was worth £300million – and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.
But on Friday, a jury at Winchester Crown Court dismissed Schreiber’s defence that he was suffering from a mental disorder which meant he was not in control on the night of the killing.
The brutal attack took place on April 7, 2021 at Sir Richard’s estate which he shared with the Schreiber family, with Thomas living rent-free in the annexe.
Using a kitchen knife Schreiber plunged a knife 12cm into Sir Richard’s heart, stabbing him to death, before using another knife to attack his mother.
Mrs Schreiber was stabbed so many times during the “vicious assault” by her own son 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 murderous rampage on the eighth anniversary of Schreiber’s father’s death.
He fled the scene in Sir Richard’s Range Rover before officers descended on the estate.
He was caught hours later by following a 135mph police chase.
Adam Feest QC, prosecuting, previously told the court that Schreiber triggered an ANPR camera while driving Sir Richard’s car on the A303 near Stonehenge.
He said this led to the high-speed chase which was only halted when officers performed a “hard stop” on the vehicle in Chiswick, west London.
The prosecutor said: “Once the Range Rover had been forced to stop, the defendant remained in the driver’s seat but appeared to be stabbing himself with a knife.
“In order to prevent further injury to him, the police Tasered him, making him drop the knife.
“They then quickly dragged him out of the vehicle and restrained him.”
Mr Feest said the defendant shouted out to police: “Shoot me, I don’t want to live.”
Schreiber was said to have become unhappy with his mother being the partner of Sir Richard and resented the family for abandoning his alcoholic father, who died in 2013.
He told the court he had felt a “loss of control” and that he was unable to “physically stop” the knife attack on his mother and Sir Richard.
The court had previously been told how Schreiber in a text sent around a month before the murder, he told a friend “I contemplate murdering them all morning, day and night”.
He was said to have became “incensed and fixated” after the millionaire hotelier failed to apologise for caning him with his walking stick, his sister Rose McCarthy earlier told his trial.
Rose said the atmosphere at Moorhill had become a “vicious triangle”, and added: “He said he wanted an apology, he became quite fixated on getting an apology from Sir Richard, then in the following weeks it hadn’t materialised, he was incensed by it, it consumed him.”
Mrs Schreiber, the only living witness of the attack, is a Danish-born physiotherapist who runs a practice in Milborne Port, Dorset, and has three grown-up children including son Thomas.
Recalling the attack, which has left her paralysed and suffering from poor memory, she said she was in a “good mood” and was cooking in the kitchen when she heard a “kerfuffle”.
At this point she turned around to see her son walk in and pick up the knife from a block on the kitchen island.
Speaking from Salisbury Hospital’s spinal unit after the attack, she told police: “I’m standing with my back to the door… when Thomas comes in to the kitchen where we have a big island.
“Thomas looked unusual… His eyes were quite weird… I would say almost frightening to look at because they looked terribly, terribly determined.
“I received some stabs from him and I remember looking at the knife in me and being surprised that it didn’t hurt more.”
Mrs Schreiber was found barely breathing in the kitchen by armed police but Sir Richard had managed to limp upstairs, trying to set off an alarm and call the police along the way, before Schreiber picked up a second knife, hunted him down and stabbed him a further five times.
His body was found on the upstairs landing, with blood splashed across the wall in front of him.