A trial date has been set for a man accused of murdering millionaire Benham Estate owner Sir Richard Sutton.

Thomas Schreiber, 34, of Gillingham, Dorset, appeared before Winchester Crown Court on Tuesday morning.

Charges allege that he murdered Sir Richard and attempted to murder Anne Schreiber on April 7.

Sir Richard was listed at number 435 in the Sunday Times Rich List last year, with an estimated family fortune of £301 million – a rise of £83 million on the previous year.

He had an extensive property and farming portfolio, including the 6,500-acre Benham Estate in Newbury, West Berkshire and the Stainton Estate in Lincolnshire.

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Schreiber is also accused of driving a Range Rover dangerously on the A303 and the M3 on the same date.

Schreiber spoke only to confirm his name during the hearing and did not enter pleas to the charges against him.

Judge Angela Morris, the Recorder of Winchester, remanded Schreiber in custody ahead of a plea and trial preparation hearing on July 5.

“What will happen on that date is that the indictment – the charges that you face – will be put to you and you will be asked to plead either guilty or not guilty,” the judge told Schreiber.

“In the interim there is going to be further investigations and your legal team will be supplied with the documents that the Crown intend to reply upon for the purposes of the case that they bring against you.

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“It is obviously important that you co-operate with your legal team.

“You will be expected to attend this court on July 5. You will be produced at this court on July 5 for the purposes of that hearing.

“There is now a trial date set, it is October 25 this year. You will remain in custody in the meantime.

“The custody time limit has been fixed for December this year.”

Adam Feest appeared for the prosecution during the hearing, while Abdullah Al-Yunusi represented Schreiber.

Mr Feest told the court that the trial was expected to last between two and three weeks.

No application for bail was made.

Dorset Police officers were called to an address in Higher Langham, near Gillingham, Dorset, at 7.30pm on April 7.

They found Sir Richard, who owned a string of top hotels in London, and Ms Schreiber with serious injuries.

Sir Richard, 83, was pronounced dead at the scene at around 9.15pm.

An initial post-mortem examination indicated that the cause of death was stab wounds to his chest, police previously said.

Ms Schreiber was airlifted to Southmead Hospital in Bristol, where she remains in a critical condition.

A man was arrested on suspicion of murder in the Hammersmith area of London on the evening of April 7.

On Sunday, police said Schreiber had been charged with murder, attempted murder and dangerous driving.The guide said Sir Richard’s company owns London hotels the Sheraton Grand Park Lane and the Athenaeum, plus three smaller venues.Schreiber will next appear at Winchester Crown Court on July 5.