Sir Richard Sutton, owner of the freehold of London's Athenaeum and Sheraton Grand Park Lane hotels, has been murdered, believed to have been stabbed to death.
Dorset Police received a report at 7.30pm on Wednesday 7 April, raising concern for the welfare of the occupants of an address in Higher Langham.
Officers attended the address and found a man aged in his 80s and a woman aged in her 60s, both with serious injuries. It is believed both had sustained stab wounds.
The ambulance service also attended. Very sadly, the injured man was pronounced dead at the scene at around 9.15pm. The injured woman was airlifted to Southmead Hospital in Bristol, where she remains in a critical condition.
Their family has been informed and the coroner has been notified of the death.
A vehicle believed to be linked to the incident was stopped in the Hammersmith area of London and a 34-year-old man from the Gillingham area was arrested on suspicion of murder. The man was subsequently taken to hospital for treatment for injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.
The arrested man and the victims were known to each other.
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.
Sir Richard Sutton and his family were listed on The Sunday Times Rich List 2020, which listed his net worth as £301m.
A statement from Sir Richard Sutton's company said: "We are deeply saddened and devastated by the sudden death of Sir Richard Sutton, announced this morning. Sir Richard was a caring, generous and warm family man, who genuinely regarded those who worked for him as part of his extended family.
"Sir Richard was passionately devoted to both his company and its people, setting the highest standards for quality in the hotel, farming and property interests within the group.
"His loss will be felt by everyone within the company, those who worked with him, and his family who have lost an incredible individual. Our thoughts are with the Sutton family at this tragic time."
The investigation into the incident is being led by detectives from Dorset Police's Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT).
Detective inspector Simon Huxter of MCIT said: "Our thoughts are with the family of the man who sadly died and the injured woman at this extremely difficult time and they are being supported by specially-trained officers.
"We will be carrying out a full investigation to establish exactly what happened at the address in Higher Langham and I would appeal to anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area on the evening of Wednesday 7 April 2021 to please contact us.
"A cordon remains in place at the address and there will continue to be a heavy police presence in the vicinity as we carry out enquiries. Officers can be approached by members of the public with any information or concerns."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email email@example.com or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210054816. Alternatively, to stay anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call freephone 0800 555 111.