Murder investigation launched as one of UK's wealthiest men dies with stab wounds

8 April 2021, 18:34 | Updated: 8 April 2021, 21:16

Sir Richard Sutton, who owned a string of top hotels in London, died during an incident at a property near Gillingham, Dorset.
Sir Richard Sutton, who owned a string of top hotels in London, died during an incident at a property near Gillingham, Dorset. Picture: PC Agency/PA Media

By Will Taylor

A murder investigation has been launched after one of the UK’s richest men died after suffering stab wounds.

Millionaire Sir Richard Sutton and a woman in her 60s were found with what are believed to be injuries from a stabbing on Wednesday night.

Paramedics were unable to save the hotelier after being sent to an address in Higher Langham, near Gillingham, Dorset, while the woman was taken to hospital and remains in a critical condition.

A 34-year-old man, who was also taken to hospital, was arrested on suspicion of murder. His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

The man, from the Gillingham area, was known to both the victims.

Read more: Mothers relive the heartbreak of losing their sons for police knife crime campaign

Sir Richard, who owned a string of top hotels in London, featured in the Sunday Times Rich List in 2017, with assets valued at over £200 million.

He had an extensive property and farming portfolio, including the 6,500-acre Benham Estate in West Berkshire and the Stainton Estate in Lincolnshire.

In a statement, Sir Richard Sutton Ltd 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.

Read more: Stormont condemns 'deplorable' violence after sixth night of unrest

"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."

Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police, 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 Wednesday 7 April 2021 to please contact us."

Read more: Police officer hospitalised after mass brawl at Edinburgh Meadows

Police said a vehicle, thought to be linked to the incident, was stopped as it headed east in Hammersmith.

The injured woman, who was airlifted to Southmead Hospital in Bristol, has not been identified by police but was named in reports as Sir Richard's wife.

Anyone with information can contact Dorest Police at, via email or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210054816.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.