A 34-year-old man has admitted the manslaughter of millionaire hotelier Sir Richard Sutton but denied his murder.
Thomas Schreiber of Gillingham, Dorset, also entered a not guilty plea at Winchester Crown Court to the attempted murder of his mother Anne Schreiber, who was Sir Richard's partner.
He also pleaded guilty to driving a Range Rover dangerously on the A303, A4 and M3.
Rob Welling, prosecuting, told the court that the manslaughter plea was not acceptable to the Crown Prosecution Service and the case would proceed to trial on 29 November. The judge, Mr Justice Garnham, remanded Schreiber in custody until then.
Police were called to an address in Higher Langham, near Gillingham, at 7.30pm on 7 April. They found Sir Richard, who owned a string of top hotels in London, and Ms Schreiber with serious injuries.
Sir Richard, 83, was pronounced dead at the scene at about 9.15pm. An initial post-mortem examination indicated that the cause of death was stab wounds to his chest, police previously said. Ms Schreiber was airlifted to Southmead Hospital in Bristol.
Sir Richard was listed at number 435 in the Sunday Times Rich List last year, with an estimated family fortune of £301m – a rise of £83m on the previous year. His company owned London hotels the Sheraton Grand Park Lane and the Athenaeum, plus three smaller venues.
Marriott International, owner of the Sheraton brand, operates the 303-bedroom Sheraton Grand Park Lane on behalf of Sir Richard Sutton Settled Estates, after Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide sold its leasehold interest in the property in 2014.
Ralph Trustees operates the five-red-AA-starred, 164-bedroom Athenaeum hotel on Piccadilly under a long-term management agreement after selling its leasehold interest to freeholder Sir Richard Sutton Estates in 2016.
He also had an extensive property and farming portfolio, including the 6,500-acre Benham Estate in west Berkshire and the Stainton Estate in Lincolnshire.
You need to be a premium member to view this. Subscribe from just 99p per week.
Already subscribed? Log In