Brighton restaurateur found dead at home as 17-year-old arrested on suspicion of murder

A wealthy restaurateur hailed as a "powerhouse for social causes" has been found dead at her home, as a 17-year-old was arrested on suspicion of murder.

The 69-year-old woman, named locally as Sue Addis, was found dead by police at the property in the Withdean area of Brighton at around 7pm on Thursday.

Sussex Police said a 17-year-old boy, known to the victim, was being held on suspicion of murder and no-one else was being sought in connection with her death. 

Ms Addis was a well-known and popular figure in Brighton, where she has run two of the city’s top Italian restaurants, Donatello and Pinocchio, for several decades with her family. 

She built a reputation as a tireless fundraiser whose charitable endeavours in the city were the focus of dozens of local newspaper stories over the years.

Pictures posted online on December 23 showed Ms Addis helping to deliver hot Christmas dinners to a charity supporting homeless and isolated people in Brighton. 

In 2004, Ms Addis and her husband, Pietro, were named among the 100 richest caterers in the country after building a fortune estimated to be worth £6 million.

Sue Addis was found dead at her home in Brighton on Thursday night

Credit: Eddie Mitchell

A short message was yesterday shared on the Facebook page for Donatello, which said: “We appreciate all the recent messages of condolence and support. 

“The Addis family ask that you please respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

Peter Kyle, the MP for Hove and Portslade, was among those to pay tribute to Ms Addis.

He said: “There are so many people’s lives who have been touched by her generosity. She was a powerhouse for social causes and for positive change in the city.”

Sussex Police said they had launched a murder investigation after being called to an address on Cedars Gardens at 6.55pm on Thursday, where they found a woman dead.

The force said: “The 17-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently in custody for interview and further enquiries.

“The boy and woman are known to each other.

“Police are not currently looking for anyone else in relation to the crime and there is no risk to the local community.”

Family members are understood to have visited the scene around midnight, five hours after the body was found.

Sussex Police said the investigation was still at an early stage and no further details about the case would be released at this stage.

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