One of Britain’s richest men stabbed to death as police launch murder probe

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One of Britain's richest men has been found stabbed to death in his country mansion.

Police have launched a murder probe after Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, an 83-year-old Baronet, was attacked inside his £2 million home near Gillingham, Dorset, on Wednesday night.

A woman in her 60s also suffered knife injuries in the bloodbath that happened at Moorhill, a large detached property in the posh hamlet of Higher Langham.

Police received a call from a member of the public concerned for the welfare of the house's occupants.

Officers discovered Sir Richard with fatal knife wounds.

The female stab-wound victim was airlifted to the Southmead Hospital in Bristol where her condition was described as "critical".

Police investigations identified a Range Rover linked to the attacks, and tracked it 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 to treatment for injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.

Police have confirmed the suspect is known to the victim.

Sir Richard was worth an estimated £301 million and was at number 435 on the Sunday Times Rich List.

He owned a huge portfolio of hotels, property and farms across the country.

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A spokesman for the Sir Richard Sutton Limited, the company which manages his portfolio, 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.

"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."

Three police vans at the entrance of the long drive which leads to the remote property, while forensics officers were seen inside.

A neighbour said: "It is just awful. You would never imagine something like this could happen. They are lovely people."

Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police's Major Crime Investigation Team, 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 April 7 to please contact us."

Sir Richard's family owned close to 7,000 acres of land across the UK.

He married wife Fiamma in 1959 and the couple had two children, David, 61, and Caroline, 55, and five grandchildren.

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