The stepson of Sir Richard Sutton has denied murdering the hotel tycoon at his £2 million country mansion.

Thomas Schreiber, 34, appeared at Winchester Crown court Charged with killing his wealthy 84 year old stepfather and the attempted murder of his own mother.

Sir Richard – who was one of Britain’s richest men – suffered fatal stab wounds during an attack at his Dorset estate on April 7.

The alleged attack took place at Sir Richard’s home in the hamlet of Higher Langham, near Gillingham, Dorset.

Fair-haired and unshaven Mr Schreiber, wearing a grey jumper, spoke only to confirm his name and deny the charges.

As well as denying murdering Sir Richard, he also denied attempting to murder his 65 year old mother, Anne Schreiber, who is Sir Richard’s partner.

Mr Schreiber also denied one count of dangerous driving, relating to his alleged actions in a Range Rover on motorways in the south of England on the night of April 7.

During the plea hearing, prosecutor Adam Feest QC revealed that Mrs Schreiber – who was left in a critical condition in hospital – has recovered from her injuries enough to provide investigators with a DNA sample.

However, Mr Feest QC added: “We are very mindful of Mrs Schreiber’s condition.”

Mr Feest QC also told the court there was still a substantial amount of forensic evidence still being worked on.

A court sketch of Thomas Schreiber at an earlier appearance

Recorder of Winchester, Her Honour Judge Angela Morris, adjourned the case until a provisional further case management hearing on October 8.

A provisional trial date has already been set for November 29.

Judge Morris said: "Mr Schreiber, your trial date remains the same but there’s still quite a lot of work that has got to be done.

Police were called to Sir Richard’s £2m home at about 7.30pm on April 7.

He had suffered stab wounds to the chest and was pronounced dead at the scene at 9.15pm.

An initial post-mortem examination that was conducted on Friday indicated that the cause of death was stab wounds to his chest.

Mrs Schreiber was airlifted to Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

Mr Schreiber was arrested by police about three hours after the call to the police in Hammersmith, west London.

Sir Richard, who owned a huge portfolio of hotels, property and farms, was once listed at 435 on the Sunday Times Rich List.

He had two children, David, 61, and Caroline, 55, by his first wife Fiamma, and five grandchildren.

Mrs Shreiber, a Danish-born physiotherapist who has a practice in Milborne Port, Dorset, has three grown-up children.