This is the moment armed police swooped on a Range Rover driver and arrested him on suspicion of murdering one of Britain’s richest men who was stabbed to death in his country mansion – as his wife continues to fight for her life.
Three hours after hotelier Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, 83, was killed inside his £2million home in north Dorset on Wednesday night, police performed a dramatic ‘hard stop’ on the 34-year-old man 100 miles away in West London after tracking him across five counties.
Pictures from the scene show the 4×4 had been boxed in by police in Chiswick, London, before the driver – who was known to Sir Richard – was carried away in a stretcher after he was found to have received ‘a number of serious self-inflicted injuries’.
The man suffered five stab wounds, according to an eyewitness. He received medical treatment for more than an hour, initially by police with a defibrillator before paramedics took over. The suspect was eventually put on a stretcher with an oxygen mask and taken to hospital in an ambulance.
Sir Richard’s second wife, named locally as Anne Schreiber, today remained in a ‘critical’ condition in hospital after suffering knife injuries in the attack at their country house, Moorhill.
The multi-millionaire – dubbed an ‘old English gentry land owner’ – recently ranked at number 435 on the Sunday Times Rich List and owned the five-star Sheraton Grand on London’s prestigious Park Lane and the luxury Athenaeum in Piccadilly.
He also owned other hotels in Bath, Cheltenham and Windsor, and had farming and property businesses.
Sir Richard , who is divorced from first wife Italian Fiamma Sutton, has two children, son, David, 61, and daughter, Caroline, 55, as well as five grandchildren. Ms Schreiber is believed to have three children, two daughters and one son.
Pictures from the scene show the 4×4 had been boxed in by police in Chiswick, London, before the driver – who was known to Sir Richard – was carried away in a stretcher after he was found to have received ‘a number of serious self-inflicted injuries’
Police attended an accident involving a Range Rover (pictured) in Chiswick on Wednesday evening. The vehicle is seen with severe damage
The millionaire landowner, who is divorced from first wife Italian Fiamma Sutton, has two children, son, David, 61, and daughter, Caroline, 55, (pictured) as well as five grandchildren
A woman, thought to be his second wife, named locally as Anne Schreiber (pictured), is also believed to have suffered knife injuries in the attack at the home, named Moorhill
On Wednesday night police arrested a 34-year-old man, known to Sir Richard, on suspicion of murder. Pictured: A map showing how police tracked the suspect from Dorset to London
The Ranger Rover had been tailed by two marked police 4×4 cars and an unmarked BMW X5 as it travelled along the Chiswick High Road in west London at about 10.45pm on Wednesday night
A man was seen being stretchered into an ambulance after the crash in west London on Wednesday night
Found: Knife, shoes, jeans and a passport on the ground at the scene of the crash
Police guard Sir Richard’s £2million property yesterday. The landowner, 83, who owns twice as much land as the Ministry of Defence – is estimated to be worth £301million
Who is millionaire hotelier Sir Richard Sutton?
Hotelier Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, 83 – who owns twice as much land as the Ministry of Defence – is estimated to be worth £301million.
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 Sutton’s estates is still worth several million pounds.
A police statement said of Wednesday’s arrest: ‘At approximately 22.30pm on Wednesday, 7 April, police stopped a vehicle in Chiswick High Road. When they approached the vehicle, officers discovered that the lone male occupant had sustained a number of serious self-inflicted injuries.
‘First aid was commenced immediately and the London Ambulance Service were called. The male was taken to a west London hospital. His injuries have been assessed as non-life threatening.’
The Ranger Rover was tailed by two marked police 4×4 cars and an unmarked BMW X5 as it travelled along the Chiswick High Road in west London at about 10.45pm on Wednesday night.
One of the Metropolitan Police 4x4s appeared to have clipped the back of the Range Rover as the X5 pulled in front of it to perform a hard stop.
The Metropolitan Police operation involved armed police, police dog handlers and the force helicopter.
An eyewitness told MailOnline on Wednesday evening: ‘I counted about 17 police cars and two ambulances. The whole street was bathed in flashing blue lights.
‘There had been two or three large bangs, which drew me to the window. I saw what looked to be a Range Rover that had come to a stop between two police 4x4s and a BMW X5.
‘The police swarmed around the Range Rover and the driver was brought out and laid out on the road. He was clearly in some distress, the police crowded around him and began to assess his injuries.
‘They cut his clothes off, his shirt and trousers, and then wrapped him in a silver foil wrap as they administered first aid.
‘I saw an officer go to the back of the X5 and bring out what looked like a defibrillator. The ambulances showed up a short while later.
‘The paramedics took over the medical treatment. The driver of the Range Rover appeared to be conscious as the officers were talking to him and I could see him move slightly.
‘After maybe an hour to 90-minutes he was placed on a stretcher with an oxygen mask over his mouth and placed in the back of one of the ambulances.’
Hotelier Sir Richard Lexington Sutton (pictured), 83, was found stabbed to death inside his £2million home in north Dorset, on Wednesday night
Sir Richard also owned the luxury Athenaeum Hotel and Spa on London’s Piccadilly Road
Sir Richard is the owner of the luxurious five-star Sheraton Grand (pictured) in London’s prestigious Park Lane
The witness continued: ‘I heard him say ‘five stab wounds’ which I took to be the injuries of the driver they’d stopped.
‘It was a big, big operation. There were armed police everywhere and a dog unit. At least two helicopters hovered overhead.
‘The forensics arrived in the early hours and were searching the scene of the stop. They were there until about 4am this morning.’
The crash was captured on camera by resident Maureen Kane, 50, whose flat overlooks the street.
Ms Kane, who works in video marketing, told how up to 40 police officer attended the scene.
She said: ‘I just heard a loud screech of cars swerving and then crash sounds. Then I looked out of my window and saw lots of armed police jumping on top of a car and aiming guns at a man and all around his car.
‘He was a white male in his 30s and seemed to be injured. It looked pretty bad but I’m not sure if he was injured in a crash or if police shot him.
‘He was naked as they ripped his clothes off and pulled him out of the car. I was scared as I thought it was a terrorist and there were so many police officer with guns. About 10 policemen surrounded him until an ambulance arrived. Then I saw another 30 or 40 police cars arrive and lots of people were shouting with guns.’
The ambulance arrived within 30 minutes, Ms Kane said, adding: ‘Police were still in the road and had all the roads blocked for hours after this until I went to bed at 2am.
‘I’ve not heard anything about it from my neighbours or anything since.’
Sir Richard was found with fatal stab wounds following the attack at his large detached home near Gillingham, Dorset. He bought the Moorhill country estate, set in the tiny hamlet of Higher Langham, in 2014 for £1.4million.
Sir Richard, who inherited his estate with his baronetcy in 1981, has been described as an ‘old English gentry landowner’.
Alongside his two Park Lane hotels he owned a swathe of property and farms across the country.
The property is a large detached home in a tiny hamlet, near Gillingham, Dorset. Pictured: Flowers left at the scene yesterday, as police continue their investigation
A woman, believed to be his wife, also suffered knife injuries in the attack at the home, named Moorhill. Pictured: Police at the scene yesterday
A spokesman for the Sir Richard Sutton Limited (SRSL) said: ‘We are deeply saddened and devastated by the sudden death of Sir Richard Sutton, announced this morning.
‘Sir Richard was a caring, generous and warm family man, who genuinely regarded those who worked for him as part of his extended family. Sir Richard was passionately devoted to both his company and its people, setting the highest and standards for quality in the hotels, farming and property interests within the group.
‘His loss will be felt by everyone within the company, those who worked with him, and his family who have lost an incredible individual. Our thoughts are with the Sutton family at this tragic time.’
Sir Richard’s company has donated more than £240,000 to the Conservative Party in the past 20 years.
Yesterday three police vans were seen at the entrance to a long drive which leads to the remote property, while forensics officers were observed inside.
A neighbour said: ‘The Suttons live there. They have two grown up children and grandchildren. It is just awful. You would never imagine something like this could happen. They are lovely people.’
A local farmer said: ‘I saw a search helicopter with a spotlight overhead on Wednesday night and then an air ambulance landed. The people who live there is an old English gentry landowner and his wife.’
Another neighbour said they were aware of police helicopters flying over the house for a number of hours.
Yesterday three police vans were seen at the entrance to a long drive which leads to the remote property, while forensics officers were observed inside
Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, 9th Baronet, was head of the Sutton family, which owns land in Dorset, Berkshire, London and Lincolnshire and Aberdeenshire. Pictured: Police had taped of the entrance to the property yesterday
Their family has been informed and the Dorset coroner has been notified of the death.
Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: ‘Our thoughts are with the family of the man who sadly died and the injured woman at this extremely difficult time and they are being supported by specially-trained officers.
‘We will be carrying out a full investigation to establish exactly what happened at the address in Higher Langham and I would appeal to anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area on the evening of April 7 to please contact us.
‘A cordon remains in place at the address and there will continue to be a heavy police presence in the vicinity as we carry out enquiries.
‘Officers can be approached by members of the public with any information or concerns.’
Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, 9th Baronet, was head of the Sutton family, which owns land in Dorset, Berkshire, London and Lincolnshire and Aberdeenshire.
He married wife Fiamma in 1959, but the pair are said to have divorced. It is believe she now lives at a farm in a village near Hungerford, Berks.
His second wife has been named locally as Ms Schreiber. She owns and runs The London Road clinic in Sherborne, Dorset, an exclusive clinic with services such as osteopathy, physiotherapy and counselling.
Local MP Simon Hoare, who knew Sir Richard Sutton well, paid tribute to the landowner who he said was a ‘country gentleman’.
The Conservative MP for North Dorset described the incident as ‘deeply awful’ and said he received a ‘full briefing’ on it from police.
Sir Richard inherited his title and estate from his father in 1981 and was worth an estimated £301m in May 2020, placing him 435th on the Sunday Times’ Rich List. Pictured: Police at the scene yesterday
Officers were yesterday seen searching a wooded area of the estate, near to Gillingham in Dorset
Mr Hoare MP, 51, said: ‘I knew him, strangely enough I knew him before I was an MP as my company did a lot of work for his estate many years ago.
‘He was a charming man, he had a very good sense of humour, he was politically astute and genial.
‘If you wanted to conjure up a picture of a country gentleman then that was him.
‘It is a huge loss for his family in what is clearly deeply awful circumstances.’
Mr Hoare MP also said: ‘This is not the sort of thing you expect to see happening in North Dorset nor the sort of thing we are used to seeing here.
‘Based on what I have been told by the police there is cause for shock and sadness but no cause or reason for alarm.’
The politician added that he is hoping medics are able to help save the injured woman in her 60s as ‘one murder is shocking but a double murder would be chilling’.
Mr Hoare MP said he would not disclose details about the circumstances of the incident nor the identity of the 34 year old man who has been arrested.
Richard Gallop, a retired air traffic controller in his 70s, who is involved in the local neighbourhood watch, said: ‘Anne is quite chatty while Richard kept himself to himself.’