DORSET MP Simon Hoare has paid tribute to Sir Richard Sutton following the landowner's death.

Mr Hoare, who represents North Dorset, said he knew Sir Richard well and he was a "country gentleman".

Sir Richard, an 83-year-old Baronet, was attacked inside his £2m home in north Dorset on Wednesday night.

A woman also suffered knife injuries in the incident that happened at Moorhill, a large detached property in the tiny hamlet of Higher Langham, near Gillingham.

Conservative MP Mr Hoarse described the incident as "deeply awful" and said he received a "full briefing" on it from police today.

He said: "I knew him, strangely enough I knew him before I was an MP as my company did a lot of work for his estate many years ago.

"He was a charming man, he had a very good sense of humour, he was politically astute and genial.

"If you wanted to conjure up a picture of a country gentleman then that was him.

"It is a huge loss for his family in what is clearly deeply awful circumstances."

Mr Hoare MP added: "This is not the sort of thing you expect to see happening in North Dorset nor the sort of thing we are used to seeing here."

The politician added that he is hoping medics are able to help save the injured woman in her 60s as "one murder is shocking but a double murder would be chilling".

As reported, police received a call from a member of the public concerned for the welfare of the occupants of the house.

When they got there they found Sir Richard with fatal knife wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 9.15pm.

The woman, who is aged in her 60s, was airlifted to the Southmead Hospital in Bristol. Her condition was today described as ‘critical’.

Immediate police investigations identified a Range Rover linked to the attacks that was spotted travelling eastbound on the A303.

It was tracked by police as it sped across Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey before it was stopped in Hammersmith, west London.

A 34-year-old man from the Gillingham area was arrested on suspicion of murder.

He was subsequently taken to hospital for treatment to injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.

Police have confirmed the arrested man is known to the victims.