An aspiring painter who killed one of Britain’s wealthiest landowners claimed he felt ‘controlled’ by the £1,000 per month allowance the multi-millionaire gave him and ‘felt unloved and unwanted’ by his family, a court heard today.

Thomas Schreiber (35), of Gillingham in Dorset is charged with trying to murder his mother, and her partner, Sir Richard Sutton. He allegedly felt “trapped” by lockdown and financial assistance from the hotelier.

Schreiber’s friends today told a jury he ‘wanted desperately to move out’ of the £2million mansion he was staying at rent free, but felt ‘restrained’ by the money because he did not know how he would support himself without it.

The court heard that Sir Richard passed away following the “vicious assault” on April 7, this year. This occurred after months of bitterness at the treatment Anne Schreiber, 66, had given Schreiber’s dad David, following their divorce.

A knife was used to puncture the hotelier’s heart 12 cm (12in) while Mrs Schreiber was repeatedly stabbed in her neck at the country house.

Following the frenetic attack on Schreiber’s father’s eighth anniversary, the Moorhill estate was left in a bloody mess in Higher Langham. 

Thomas Schreiber, of Gillingham, Dorset, is on trial at Winchester Crown Court accused of the murder of 83-year-old Sir Richard Sutton and the attempted murder of his mother, Anne Schreiber (pictured with Thomas), on April 7, 2021

Thomas Schreiber is a defendant at Winchester Crown Court. He’s accused of killing Sir Richard Sutton (83 years old) and trying to murder Anne Schreiber (pictured below with Thomas). 

Three Schreiber friends were interviewed by the jury today at Winchester Crown Court. Tommy Clark (45-year-old photographer) had been friends with Schreiber ever since 2009. He even visited Schreiber at Moorhill this spring 2019.

He stated that he noticed that he became more unhappy and depressed about his situation. It seemed like he had become more sensitive to the future.

Sir Richard (pictured), an 83-year-old baronet who owned a string of hotels including the Sheraton Grand on London's prestigious Park Lane, died in the knife attack in April

Sir Richard (pictured), an elderly baronet, was knife-assassinated in April. He owned several hotels in London including the Sheraton Grand in London’s Park Lane. 

“He was desperate to leave, he wanted to be free. He was interested in art and began to paint frequently. But he had a very negative outlook.

“Five Days before the incident I called my friend to tell him good news ….. His expression was so happy that he thought I was rescuing him from some dark places.

He wrote that he couldn’t wait for his freedom to see the world, and to be able to live with others.

Louisa introduced Graham Booth (a market research consultant of 61 years) to Schreiber in 2019.

According to him, the Moorhill family dynamics seemed “extremely dysfunctional… Tom wasn’t close with his mother nor was Richard keen”.

His mother Richard said that he had made him feel unloved, unsolicited and treated him with disdain.

“Lockdown did not help, it made things worse, and I believe Tom felt trapped. There was significant damage to the home.

“I was concerned about his mental well-being… we talked a lot about moving him from the house.

“I believe things became worse as he felt trapped… there was no escape.”

‘[The money]It was both a curse and a gift, because he felt controlled as long as it was being given to him… That was how I saw it.

Police guard Sir Richard's £2million property in the Dorset hamlet of Higher Langham near Gillingham in April

Police guard Sir Richard’s £2million property in the Dorset hamlet of Higher Langham near Gillingham in April

Sir Richard Sutton, pictured with his wife Lady Sutton and their children David and Caroline in an undated photograph

Sir Richard Sutton, shown with Lady Sutton (and their children Caroline and David) in an undated photo

It was the reason he couldn’t go.

Joel Crozer is a 33 year-old music producer who met Schreiber while they attended high school together in Denmark in 2005.

Schreiber wanted to escape the toxic environment, but Schreiber was unable to do so because of his lockdown. He stated that they had spoken several times.

Schreiber stated that he took the knife from his father when he was unable to hear him say it.

Mrs Schreiber is the sole witness to the attack, which left her paralysed. She also suffered from poor memory. 

The jury was shown footage released by Scotland Yard of Schreiber being chased at 135mph before armed police seized him

A Scotland Yard footage of Schreiber’s chase at 135mph was shown to the jury before his arrest by armed police.

Armed police officers arrive at the Moorhill estate on the evening of the incident to find the heavily-bleeding Mrs Schreiber

On the night of the incident, armed police arrived at Moorhill Estate to locate Mrs Schreiber.

The jury heard previously how Schreiber’s relationship with Sir Richard, the country mansion’s owner, led to a “vicious triangle” in which Schreiber tried to get rid from the aspirant painter.

His daughter Caroline Sutton even revealed the hotelier paid Schreiber £100,000 for a house deposit in a desperate attempt to get him to leave his home.

Sir Richard, who last year was listed at number 435 in the Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated family fortune of £301million, was killed following rows with Schreiber about the inheritance of a family chandelier and a day at the races.

The estate empire included more than 71,000 acres, five-star Sheraton Grand in London’s Park Lane, and Mayfair’s Athenaeum hotel.

Schreiber admitted to manslaughter in the death of the hotelier, but denied murdering him. Schreiber pleads guilty not to attempted murder of his mother.

A court artist's sketch of Thomas Schreiber (right) with his counsel Joe Stone QC at Winchester Crown Court on December 9

Court artist’s drawing of Thomas Schreiber (right), and Joe Stone QC, his counsel at Winchester Crown Court.

After fleeing in Range Rover, he was caught by police and taken into custody.

Sir Richard’s corpse was discovered on the landing. After being initially attacked downstairs, he limped upstairs and Schreiber is reported to have then stabbed him with a kitchen knife five additional times.

According to the prosecution, Schreiber repeatedly cut Sir Richard’s mother (toxic and gold-digging) after fantasizing about them for several months.

Sir Richard married his second wife, and had five children. Danish-born physiotherapist, Mrs. Schreiber, currently has a Milborne Port practice, Dorset. She has three grown children, one of which is her son Thomas.

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