A son has been found guilty of murdering millionaire Sir Richard Sutton and trying to kill his own mom before a dramatic 135mph police chase.
Aspiring painter Thomas Schreiber, 35, stabbed Sir Richard, 83, to death with a kitchen knife at his £2 million country house after “sponging” off the hotelier for years.
The frenzied attack left the millionaire in a pool of blood outside his bedroom door after a knife was plunged 12cm into his heart
Schreiber was also convicted of attempting to murder his mother Anne Schreiber, Sir Richard’s partner, who he stabbed at least nine times in the neck and back during the bloody assault as doctors needed an extraordinary 27 litres of blood to save her life.
Mrs Schreiber, 66, 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.
He now faces a lifelong jail sentence.
Sir Richard’s 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 April 7 this year – the eighth anniversary of Schreiber’s father’s death.
Today at Winchester Crown Court, Hants, a jury dismissed Schreiber’s defense that he was suffering from a mental disorder which meant he was not in control on the night of the killing.
After four hours and 18 minutes deliberating, they were unable to come to a unanimous decision and were asked to return a majority verdict.
Just 33 minutes later, they found Schreiber guilty of the murder of Sir Richard and the attempted murder of Mrs Schreiber by a margin of 11 to one.
The killer, wearing a blue suit and pink shirt, stared down at the ground in the dock, as the verdicts were read out.
A whispered cry of “yes” was heard from the public gallery above, where Sir Richard’s children Caroline and David Sutton, as well as other members of the family, were sat.
Adjourning the case for sentencing on December 20, the judge, Mr Justice Garnham, told the defendant: “The only sentence I can pass is of life imprisonment but for the offence of murder I have to set the minimum number of years and I also have to sentence you for the attempted murder of your mother.”
Following Schreiber’s conviction, Sir Richard’s family described the millionaire as an “incredible father”.
A statement from the family read: “How could any family recover from such a sudden and devastating loss.
“We can never bring back Sir Richard but his spirit will very much live on, alongside the very happy memories we have of our incredible father, brother and grandfather.
‘TRAGIC AND SENSELESS’
“His values of being warm, generous and compassionate to everyone he met will be carried forward by future generations, and will never be extinguished.”
Schreiber was “consumed with hatred” and the desire for revenge after feeling “humiliated” by his mother – who he branded a “gold digger”, the court heard.
The artist lived with the couple at the mansion rent free following his mother’s divorce from his alcoholic father David but despite this, the court heard how he resented them for abandoning his father, who died in 2013.
Schreiber’s “explosion of violence” came after years of simmering resentment occasionally breaking out into fights with his sisters, Rose McCarthy and Louisa Schreiber, with Sir Richard intervening twice.
Giving evidence, the defendant accepted his “hypocrisy” at his attitude to his family’s finances after the trial heard he lived off a £1,000-a-month allowance granted by Sir Richard to each of the three siblings.
He had also given £100,000 to each of them in 2015 to be used to help buy a property.
The police officer who led the investigation today described Sir Richard’s murder as “tragic and senseless” and condemned Schreiber’s “appalling and unforgivable actions”.
Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police’s Major Investigation Team, said: “This was an utterly tragic and senseless incident that has left Sir Richard and Anne’s family and friends devastated and our thoughts remain with them at this extremely difficult time.
“It was thanks to the efforts of the first officers to arrive at the scene and subsequent medical assistance from paramedics and hospital staff that this case only involved one fatality and not two.
“I would like to thank the Crown Prosecution Service for their support and in bringing Thomas Schreiber to justice for his appalling and unforgivable actions, which have devastated the loved ones of both Sir Richard and Anne.”
Just minutes after the horror attack, Schreiber left chilling voice messages to friends and family as he calmly stated “I’ve killed my mother and I’ve killed her partner”.
In messages played at Winchester Crown Court told a pal “I’ve made a mistake” while in a rambling call to his sister Rose’s voicemail he said he “couldn’t take the hatred anymore”.
Schreiber then led police on a high-speed chase, with the jury shown helicopter footage of the pursuit and Schreiber’s dramatic arrest, in which he pleaded with police officers “put a bullet in my f****** head”.
The killer fled Moorhill, Sir Richard’s country home near Gillingham, Dorset in his Range Rover before leading police on a 135mph chase to London on April 7 last year.
He was finally apprehended thanks to a “hard stop” on Chiswick High Street.
Footage from a police helicopter shows Schreiber’s car ramming into a police vehicle before coming to a halt.
Police tasered the budding artist to get him to drop a knife and then restrained him while he screamed at them, pleading the officers to kill him.
He can be heard shouting on the police bodycam footage: “Shoot me please, please shoot me, please shoot me now, please.
“Please, I’m asking you, please, just do it, please, just f****** kill me, I’m f****** worthless.
“Put a bullet in my f****** head, I’m politely asking you.”
Sir Richard was listed at number 435 in the Sunday Times Rich List last year, with an estimated family fortune of £301 million.
He owned a sprawling property empire and more than 7,000 acres of land, including the five-star Sheraton Grand on London’s Park Lane and the Athenaeum hotel in Mayfair.