An artist has been found guilty of the murder of millionaire hotelier Sir Richard Sutton and the attempted murder of his own mother.
Thomas Schreiber was convicted following a three-week trial at Winchester Crown Court of stabbing the pair at the baronet’s Dorset country estate on April 7, 2021.
The defendant, wearing a blue suit and tie with a pink shirt, closed his eyes as the verdict was announced.
Sir Richard was murdered at his Moorhill estate near Gillingham, Dorset, which he shared with the Schreiber family following the separation of Mr Schreiber’s parents.
Mr Schreiber, 35, had lived in an annexe at the property, the court was told.
The aspiring artist attacked Sir Richard, 83, in his study before following him upstairs to deliver the fatal blows.
Shortly afterwards, he repeatedly stabbed his mother Anne Schreiber, 66. She survived the attack but remains in hospital and is unlikely to ever walk again.
Following the conviction, the family of Sir Richard Sutton said in a statement: “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.”
Jurors at Winchester crown court heard that Mr Schreiber had been unhappy at his mother becoming the partner of Sir Richard, calling her a “gold-digging b****”. He also claimed he had been unfairly treated financially compared to his sisters.
Mr Schreiber, who denied murder and attempted murder, told the court that he felt a “loss of control” and he “could not physically stop” the knife attack on his mother and Sir Richard.
The court was told that Mr Schreiber was deeply affected by his father’s death and resented Sir Richard’s wealth - despite taking generous handouts from him.
Defence witness, consultant psychiatrist Dr Tim Rogers, told the court that drinking alcohol and the fact it was the anniversary of the death of his father, David Schreiber, could also have been contributing factors to the impairment of his mental state.
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.”