Sir Richard Sutton’s stepson and suspected killer tended to his dad’s grave just hours before the multi-millionaire was stabbed, according to reports.
Thomas Schreiber, 34, was reportedly spotted visiting the cemetery before the baronet, 83, was killed at his country estate in Dorset.
Sir Richard, one of the UK’s wealthiest men, was knifed so many times that shocked police said they “thought he had been shot” when they attended his mansion on Wednesday night.
His Danish partner Anne Schreiber, 65, last night remained in hospital critically ill with wounds.
Schreiber was also taken to hospital with injuries after police tracked his vehicle through Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Berkshire and stopped him in Surrey.
He was released fro hospital yesterday and is helping officers with their inquiries, police have said.
Sources told The Sun that he had been seen at the graveside of his own dad in the small town of Stalbridge, Dorset, hours before Sir Richard died.
Fresh daffodils had been placed at the grave and the grass surrounding it had been carefully trimmed back, according to the paper.
Police officers were alerted by a concerned family member who lives nearby before racing to the scene.
Sir Richard was remembers as an “extraordinary country gentleman” and a “lovely man” by a woman who worked for him for many years.
She said: “We watched it from the upstairs bedroom unfold and I knew it was something really bad. I went up there but the police wouldn’t tell me anything.
“When we found out he was dead this morning I was just devastated.
“He was such a lovely man, you would never think he had money. He always wore an old anorak and drove an old car.”
The hotelier and aristocrat, who inherited his title and estate in 1981, was worth £301m according to the Sunday Times’ Rich List.
He owned the freehold of the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane and the Athenaeum Hotel in Mayfair as well as vast swathes of land and farms across England.
A statement from the businessman’s company, Sir Richard Sutton Limited, said staff were “deeply saddened and devastated by the sudden death”.