A MILLIONAIRE restaurateur found dead in her home suffered stab wounds after an “altercation” with a 17-year-old boy, it has been revealed.
Sue Addis, 69, ran the popular Brighton eateries Donatello and Pinocchio, both of which are frequented by celebrities and Premier League footballers.
Sue Addis was found dead at her home in Brighton on Thursday after suffering stab wounds
She was found dead at her £1million cottage in Withdean on the edge of Brighton at 6.55pm on Thursday evening.
Friends allege an “altercation” broke out her home and police have confirmed she suffered stab wounds.
A friend, who did not wish to be named, said: “By the sounds of things there has been some sort of altercation in the house and Sue has suffered some injuries – that’s all I know.”
Police arrested a 17-year-old boy on suspicion of murder and said Sue, who lived alone, and the suspect were known to each other.
Today, the boy appeared at Brighton Magistrates Court after being charged with murder on Friday.
During a 10 minute hearing the teenager – who cannot be named for legal reasons – spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.
Asked if he understood the charge of murder against him, the boy who wore grey joggers and sweatshirt, nodded.
He was supported in court by his father and appeared emotionless as he faced the magistrates.
The teenager was remanded in custody and will next appear before crown court on Monday.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Although formal identification has yet to take place we can confirm that the deceased is believed to be Susan Addis.
“She was found dead with stab injuries although the cause of death awaits confirmation at a postmortem to be held on Monday.”
Forensics at her home in Withdean, Brighton this week
A 17-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with murder
Detectives from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team are leading the investigation.
In a statement, the family’s lawyers said: “At this very sad and distressing time, the family kindly asks that all media respect their privacy. The family are currently in a state of shock”.
In 2004, the restaurant chain was named as one of the top 100 in the country and they have built an empire worth around £6million.
Sue opened Donatello with her husband Pietro, with the couple running the 400-seater restaurant with their three sons Leo, Stefano and Mikele.
Celebrities such as Bill Nighy and Katie Price have eaten at the family’s restaurants as well as footballers from Brighton and Hove Albion.
Tributes from locals have poured praising Sue as a “popular” businesswoman who did huge amounts of charity work within the community.
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton, said: “So shocked and saddened to hear devastating news of death of the amazing Sue Addis.
“So many in Brighton will be heartbroken – she was such a special presence in the city, her passion for this place and its people was infectious, and her kindness legendary. She’ll be hugely missed.”
Sue Addis, pictured with Bill Nighy, knew the 17-year-old, police said
The restaurant owner pictured with Brighton footballer Ezequiel Schelotto