Estate agent accused of murdering fiancee 'found naked, face up in a pool of blood' in Surrey hotel room

22 April 2024, 17:17

Estate agent accused of murdering fiancee 'found naked, face up in a pool of blood' in Surrey hotel room
Estate agent accused of murdering fiancee 'found naked, face up in a pool of blood' in Surrey hotel room. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

A 60-year-old man has appeared in court accused of murdering his fiancee at a luxury hotel in Bagshot.

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James Cartwright from Axminster, Devon, was charged with controlling and coercive behaviour and the murder of Samantha Mickleburgh, 54, at the Pennyhill Park Hotel after being arrested on Friday.

The estate agent director was remanded in police custody and today appeared at Guildford Magistrates Court.

Police were dispatched to the Surrey retreat last week on April 14 after Cartwright alerted medics that his fiancee was unconscious. Ms Mickleburgh was found naked, face up in a pool of blood the next morning, The Sun reported.

Pennyhill Park Hotel
Pennyhill Park Hotel. Picture: Alamy

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The two had then stayed the night at the Bagshot hotel to celebrate Cartwright's 60th birthday.

Cartwright and Ms Mickleburgh met each other on a dating website in September 2022 and moved in together in March, six months later.

Appearing in court today, Cartwright spoke only to confirm his personal details. He will next appear at Guildford Crown Court on Wednesday.

A post-mortem found deep bruising to Ms Mickleburgh's neck and skull.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Debbie Birch said: “Our thoughts are with the victim’s family at this difficult time.

“The investigation is in the early stages and a specialist team of officers are working around the clock to follow up enquiries.”

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In a statement following her death, Ms Mickleburgh's family said: "We are devastated by the loss of Samantha, an incredible mother, beautiful, much cherished daughter, and friend.

“Loved by many, she was a true example of class, integrity, and dedication to those around her. Lighting up any room she entered with her vivacious personality and endearing smile.

“No words can truly capture all her beloved qualities and nothing will ever fill the hole left in the lives of those who loved her.”

Her two children said: “Nothing can prepare you to face the world without your parents at a young age. Our mother had been both parents to us since the loss of our father and she was doing such an amazing job at it. No finer example of a Mum could there be, we will feel the loss in every aspect of our lives.

“We are grateful to be such a close family and for the support we continue to receive from those who knew Samantha.“We as a family wish for privacy at this impossibly difficult time.”

Anyone with further information that may help with the investigation is asked to contact police on 101 or online, quoting PR/45240041581.