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Dorset: One of UK’s richest men stabbed to death in country mansion


Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, 83, couldn’t be saved and was declared dead at the scene (Picture: BNPS)

One of Britain’s richest men has been found stabbed to death in his country mansion, it was revealed today.

Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, an 83-year-old Baronet, was attacked inside his £2million home in north Dorset, last night.

A woman in her 60s, believed to be his wife, also suffered knife injuries and was airlifted to Bristol’s Southmead Hospital in a ‘critical’ condition.

Sir Richard was found with fatal knife wounds after a concerned member of the public raised the alarm about what was happening inside the home.

Nothing could be done to save him and he was pronounced dead at 9.15pm at Moorhill, a large detached property in the tiny hamlet of Higher Langham, near Gillingham, Dorset.

Immediate police investigations have linked to the attack to a Range Rover that was spotted travelling eastbound on the A303.

‘It is just awful. You would never imagine something like this could happen. They are lovely people’ (Picture: BNPS)

It was tracked by police as it sped across Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey before it was stopped in Hammersmith, west London.

A 34-year-old man from the Gillingham area was arrested on suspicion of murder and was subsequently taken to hospital for injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.

Police have confirmed the suspect is known to the victim, who bought the Moorhill country estate in 2014 for £1.4million.

Sir Richard was described as an ‘old English gentry landowner’ who was worth an estimated £301million and was at number 435 on the Sunday Times Rich List.

He owned a huge portfolio of hotels, property and farms across the country.

Sir Richard was worth an estimated £301million and was at number 435 on the Sunday Times Rich List (Picture: BNPS)

A spokesman for the Sir Richard Sutton Limited (SRSL) said today: ‘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.’

Today three police vans were seen at the entrance to a long drive which leads to the remote property, while forensics officers searched for clues inside.

Police have confirmed the 34-year-old suspect is known to the victim (Picture: BNPS)

A neighbour said: ‘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 last 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.

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.’

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Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, 9th Baronet, was head of the Sutton family, which owns land in Dorset, Berkshire, London and Lincolnshire and Aberdeenshire.

He inherited his title and estate from his father in 1981 and was worth an estimated £301million in May 2020.

In total he and his family own close to 7,000 acres of land across the UK – more than double the amount owned by the Ministry of Defence.

He married his wife Fiamma in 1959 and the couple had two children, David, 61, and Caroline, 55, and five grandchildren.

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