THE family of Sue Addis have sent their "heartfelt thanks" to people in Brighton who paid tributes to the Donatello owner following her death last week.

Brighton and Hove was left in shock on Friday after it was confirmed the body of the 69-year-old Donatello Restaurant owner had been found at a property in Cedars Gardens, Brighton, the previous evening.

A murder investigation was launched and a 17-year-old was arrested on suspicion of murder.

The Argus: Donatello owner Sue AddisDonatello owner Sue Addis

The boy appeared at Hove Crown Court yesterday and will next appear for a plea hearing on February 11.

Following news of Mrs Addis's death, hundreds of people issued heartfelt tributes to the restaurant owner - who was also widely known for her seemingly ceaseless fundraising.

The Argus: Sue Addis at a fundraising event at DonatelloSue Addis at a fundraising event at Donatello

Among them were Brighton and Hove MPs Peter Kyle, Lloyd Russell-Moyle and Caroline Lucas, as well as Brighton and Hove Albion, who were formerly sponsored by Donatello.

Today, five days on from her tragic death, the Addis family issued a statement to The Argus paying tribute to "a loving and devoted mother and grandmother".

It reads: "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.

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

The Argus: Sue Addis at Donatello in The Lanes, BrightonSue Addis at Donatello in The Lanes, Brighton

"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."