A wealthy antiques dealer is accused of strangling his seven-year-old daughter in the family's south London home, with a dressing gown cord.

Robert Peters allegedly attempted to strangle his daughter Sophia, leaving her critically injured at their Raynes Park home, the Daily Mail reported. The 55-year-old antiques dealer was arrested and charged with attempted murder, as efforts were made to save the girl's life.

According to the Mail, the Old Bailey heard that Peters' charge is set to be upgraded to murder after Sophia's death on Saturday (4 November). Sophia is believed to have died of strangulation injuries, but a post mortem is expected soon to establish the exact cause of death.

Sophia's mother, Kittiya Promsat from Thailand, is believed to not have been at the £1m home at the time of the incident. The girl's mother later posted a tribute on Facebook: "I love you a lot and love you forever sweetheart".

The Evening Standard reported that Sophia had just started studying at a boarding school. Close friends also left tributes for the young girl, with one writing on Facebook: "She will be in our memories forever. Stay strong and thank you."

Neighbours reportedly watched as Peters was taken into custody in the early hours of Friday morning (3 November) after being questioned by police. He reportedly lived in the area for less than a year.

The three times married Peters was described as a "reasonable and decent sort of chap" by a neighbour to the Daily Mail. He is said to have business assents of around £1.3m and runs an antiques business with his twin brother Richard in London.

A neighbour told the Evening Standard: "This is a quiet, friendly street where everyone knows each other. But something as tragic as this can happen anywhere. You never know what goes on behind closed doors."