A MAN who murdered millionaire Sir Richard Sutton and tried to kill his own mum sobbed as he was jailed for life today.

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.

Schreiber was today jailed for life at Winchester Crown Court and will serve a minimum of 36 years for the horrific slaying.

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 found guilty of murder at Winchester Crown Court, Hants, after a jury dismissed his defence that he was suffering from a mental disorder which meant he was not in control on the night of the killing.

He was also convicted of attempting to murder his mum Anne Schreiber, Sir Richard's partner, who he stabbed at least nine times in the neck and back.

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 dad's death.

Mrs Schreiber, 66, was stabbed so many times she was left paralysed from the neck down and breathing through a ventilator.

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In a letter to the judge before he was handed a life sentence, Schreiber apologised and described himself as a "coward, hugely arrogant and selfish."

He wrote: "I am writing to you in order to express my heartfelt shame and total disgust by my words and actions on April 7 against my family and Richard.

"All I wish to do is travel back in time to that terrible day so I can change everything and bring Sir Richard and my mother back to life.

"I have been a coward, hugely arrogant and selfish in my behaviour. I am so sorry for this and wish I had the clarity of thought I have now, I remain in total shock and horror that I could be capable of such actions."

He continued: "This was not the actions of a demonic monster but someone in need of help and intervention."

Schreiber blamed lockdown for his spiralling mental health as he had to remain in the "toxic pressure boiler" of Sir Richard's vast estate.

He had written to a friend in March 2021 that his "mind is consumed with hatred of the very worst kind towards my family."

"They really hurt me betrayed me and destroyed all trust. Simply put I contemplate murdering them all morning day and night.

"It's not what I want to think about but it's the truth. I want them to suffer."

But Mr Justic Garnham slammed his entitled nature and said he was "a man with a very bad temper".

The judge told him: "Your actions have caused utter devastation in the Sutton and Schreiber families.

"You treated Sir Richard's house and possessions as if they were your own.

All I wish to do is travel back in time to that terrible day so I can change everything and bring Sir Richard and my mother back to life.

"You showed neither him or your mother any respect, instead during your time in their home you displayed a breath-taking sense of entitlement, at times you left Sir Richard feeling like a prisoner in his own home."

During a break in the sentencing proceedings, Schreiber told his sisters from the dock: "I am so sorry, I really am, I love you."

But his sibling Rose McCarthy told her brother in a heartfelt victim impact statement he had "destroyed everything".

She said: "You took a knife to our world. In doing so you took away Richard, you took away the most innocent and kindest of men in the most brutal of ways. He never stood a chance.

"You also killed our mother, you took her life away and left her trapped in a body she can't use and is in constant pain.

"She can't even wipe away her own tears. You destroyed everything, Mum can't even hold her own grandchildren, she can't give me a hug."

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.

"His values of being warm, generous and compassionate to everyone he met will be carried forward by future generations, and will never be extinguished."

The court previously heard Schreiber was "consumed with hatred" and the desire for revenge after feeling "humiliated" by his mother – who he branded a "gold digger".

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.

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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.

Sir Richard's daughter Caroline Sutton said in a statement read to the court: "My father was the kindest and most generous man you'd ever meet."

She added: "His life was ended so abruptly and in such an unimaginably cruel manner by an individual that he welcomed into his home as a member of his family for years."

His heartbroken son, Sir David Sutton, added: "This was a senseless act that has taken away the life all too early of a generous, loving, elderly man who only wanted to enjoy his twilight years."

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."

How could any family recover from such a sudden and devastating loss.

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.

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