United Kingdom

Grandson, 18, denies murdering millionaire owner of Brighton restaurants

The grandson of a millionaire restaurateur found stabbed to death in her own home has denied murdering her, a court was told.

Sue Addis, 69, owned the popular Brighton eateries Donatello's and Pinocchio's which were frequented by Premiership footballers and celebrities including Bill Nighy and Katie Price.

She died after suffering multiple stab wounds at her home in January.

Her body was found at her £1million cottage in Withdean on the edge of Brighton on January 8.

Police arrested a 17-year-old boy on suspicion of murder and said Mrs Addis, who lived alone, and the suspect were known to each other.

Yesterday her grandson, Pietro Addis, now 18, appeared in court charged with the murder of the popular restaurateur.

Sue Addis, 69, ran the popular Brighton eateries Donatello's and Pinnochio's which were frequented by stars including Bill Nighy (pictured above with Ms Addis) and Katie Price

Police officers at the home of Sue Addis in Brighton where she was found dead in January

The teenager, who can now be identified after reporting restrictions expired, appeared at Hove Crown Court via videolink where he denied a charge of murder.

Addis will stand trial for murder at the same court in August this year. 

Mrs Addis was a hugely respected figure in the Brighton business community and her death was greeted with shock and dismay.

She first opened Pinocchio's with her husband Pietro in 1987 and shortly afterwards opened the 400-seat Donatello's.

Their three sons Leo, Stefano and Mikele all worked at the restaurants which were among the most popular in the seaside resort.

Ms Addis (pictured above) was found at her home near Brighton with a number of stab wounds

Pictured: Police outside Mrs Addis' restaurant in Brighton city centre in January this year

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.

Celebrities, footballers and MPs paid tribute to the 'popular businesswoman' who did huge amounts of charity work within the community.

In a statement her family said: 'The entire family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the many people in Brighton and Hove and beyond who have taken the time to pay such wonderful tributes to Sue Addis.

'Sue was a pioneering figure in the Brighton and Hove business community, supporting many charities and raising funds for a wide number of causes.

'To us, she was a loving and devoted mother and grandmother and as a family, we now ask for time and space to grieve her loss and begin to come to terms with life without her.'

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton, said: 'So shocked and saddened to hear devastating news of death of the amazing Sue Addis.

Tributes paid to businesswoman Sue Addis (pictured) in the wake of her death described her as a 'special presence' and having legendary kindness and an infectious passion for Brighton

'So many in Brighton will be heartbroken - she was such a special presence in the city, her passion for this place & its people was infectious, & her kindness legendary. She'll be hugely missed.'

Former Hove MP Ivor Caplin said: 'I have known Sue Addis Pietro and the family for over 30 years.

'I am shocked at her death last night. My thoughts and condolences are with the family. Sue was so passionate about our city.'

Addis is due to go on trial on August 9.

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