One of Britain’s richest men and a knight of the realm has been stabbed to death in his home, allegedly by a man he knew.
Richard Sutton, 83, was pronounced dead at his mansion in Dorset, south west England, on Wednesday evening.
A woman in her 60s, believed to be his wife, was also stabbed, and airlifted to hospital in Bristol where she remains in a critical condition.
The alleged assailant escaped in a Range Rover, tracked by helicopters and police cars as he made his way at high speed towards London.
Three hours after the murder, police deployed a dramatic “hard stop” in Hammersmith, West London to pull over the car they had pursued across five counties.
An eyewitness, Maureen Kane, 50, told the Sun that armed police officers swarmed the car.
She said: “He was a white male and seemed to be injured – it looked pretty bad. He was naked as they ripped his clothes off and pulled him out of the car. I was scared as I thought it was a terrorist.”
Another eyewitness said: “They cut his clothes off and then wrapped him in silver foil as they administered first aid.”
A 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and police later confirmed he was known to the victims. The Sun understands he was living with the couple.
He was taken to hospital with injuries which were not believed to be life-threatening.
Sutton, who was number 435 in last year’s Sunday Times UK Rich List, owned a huge swathe of land across the country and a string of top hotels. His flagship hotels were the Sheraton Grand and the Athenaeum, both on London’s prestigious Piccadilly.
The businessman’s wealth was valued at £300 million (US$410 million, RM1,700 million) in the 2020 Sunday Times Rich List.
“If you wanted to conjure up a picture of a typical English country gentleman then that was him,” said North Dorset MP Simon Hoare.
A woman who worked for Sutton told The Sun: “What’s happened is an absolute tragedy. It’s worse than anything on Midsomer Murders on the telly.”