A murder investigation has been launched after one of Britain’s richest men was stabbed to death in his country mansion.
Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, an 83-year-old Baronet, was attacked inside his £2m home in north Dorset, on Wednesday night.
Police were alerted by a member of the public concerned for the welfare of the occupants of the house.
Officers found hotelier Sir Richard - whose portfolio includes the Athenaeum and Sheraton on Park Lane in Mayfair - with fatal knife wounds.
He was pronounced dead at the scene at 9.15pm.
The female victim was airlifted to the Southmead Hospital in Bristol where her condition was described as ‘critical’.
Police identified a Range Rover linked to the attacks that was spotted travelling eastbound on the A303.
It was tracked by police as it travelled 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.
He was taken to hospital for treatment to injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.
Police have confirmed the suspect is known to the victim.
Sir Richard has been described as an ‘old English gentry landowner’ who was worth an estimated £301m and was at number 435 on the Sunday Times Rich List.
He owned a huge portfolio of hotels, property and farms across the country.
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.”
Yesterday (Thurs) three police vans were seen at the entrance to a long drive which leads to the remote property, while forensics officers were observed inside.
Detective Inspector Simon Huxter 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.“
“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.”