Thomas Schreiber: I am not 'some demonic monster', says killer in letter to judge

Handout photo issued by Dorset Police of Thomas Schreiber who has been jailed for life for the murder of aristocrat Sir Richard Sutton wrote to the judge describing his
Handout photo issued by Dorset Police of Thomas Schreiber who has been jailed for life for the murder of aristocrat Sir Richard Sutton wrote to the judge describing his "disgust" at his actions but claiming he is not "some demonic monster." Issue date: Tuesday December 21, 2021.

Thomas Schreiber was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court to a minimum of 36 years for killing the multimillionaire hotelier Sir Richard Sutton.

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The aspiring artist jailed for life for the murder of aristocrat Sir Richard Sutton wrote to the judge describing his “disgust” at his actions but claiming he is not “some demonic monster”.

Thomas Schreiber was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court to a minimum of 36 years for killing the multimillionaire hotelier and the attempted murder of his own mother, Anne Schreiber, who was left paralysed by the attack.

The attack happened at Sir Richard’s Moorhill estate near Gillingham in Dorset, where the 35-year-old defendant had been living following the separation of his parents.

Schreiber admitted carrying out the “horror show” knife attack on the pair on the eighth anniversary of the death of his alcoholic father, David Schreiber, after he said his mother shouted at him for being “drunk like his father”.

The trial heard that the defendant was angry with his mother for “abandoning” his father, who suffered from depression, to move in with Sir Richard, and accused her of being a “gold-digging bitch”.

Schreiber also felt that Sir Richard treated him unfairly compared with his two sisters, despite him receiving a £1,000 monthly allowance and being given £100,000 towards buying a house.

The court heard that family arguments descended into violence on three previous occasions, including once when Sir Richard hit Schreiber with his walking stick in November 2020, causing the cane to shatter and leaving Schreiber “humiliated”.

The defendant, who, the court heard, suffered from depression, blamed lockdown for worsening his mental health by forcing him to remain in the “toxic pressure boiler” environment of Sir Richard’s estate.

In a letter handed to the judge, Mr Justice Garnham, prior to sentencing on Monday, Schreiber said: “I am writing to you in order to express my most heartfelt shame and total disgust by my words and actions on April 7th against my family, Ann and Richard.

“All I wish to do is travel back in time to that terrible day and change everything so that I could bring back my mother and Richard back to life.

“This is all I think about day in and day out for the past for the past eight months.

“Through my actions I have destroyed not only my family but also the Sutton family.

“Despite not always getting along with one another all the time, despite what you may think, I absolutely do love my mother and my whole family very much.

“Despite not really getting on with Richard’s own family so much, I most certainly did not intend on ever hurting their father, a man who has only ever been generous and concerned about me.

“I sincerely hope that you yourself may understand this.

“By not reaching out directly for help and coming clean about my self-destructive thoughts towards my family, I only compounded the issue more for myself and my family.

“I have been a coward, hugely arrogant and selfish in my behaviour. I am so sorry for this and wish I had had the clarity of thought of these issues then as I do now.

“I most certainly did not intend to ever hurt anyone, let alone my mother and stepfather. I remain in total shock and complete horror how I could have been capable of such actions. This is, I remind you, not who I am as a person, adult or son to my family.

“I am desperate to make this right, I am desperate to go back to that day.

“The last four years has been extremely challenging for me personally but I have tried (and failed) to deal with my issues as quietly and privately as possible. I have failed.

“Finally, I pray for my mother’s recovery and both my family and Richard’s in the hope that one day they will understand this was not the actions of some demonic monster but the actions of someone in desperate in need of help and professional intervention.”