A violent killer murdered a top chef from Odiham in a revenge attack after being dumped by the victim’s sister, a jury heard yesterday (April 9).
Andrew Morris knifed 21-year-old Henry Stangroom in the heart at their flat in Battersea, south London before stabbing himself with a harpoon, a jury at London's Old Bailey was told.
Police found 30-year-old Morris with slit wrists and the harpoon sticking out from underneath his chin in the bedroom of the flat on October 17 last year.
Former Lord Wandsworth College pupil Mr Stangroom, whose family live in Rye Common in Odiham, was working as a chef at the upmarket Criterion Restaurant in Piccadilly Circus.
Opening the case yesterday, prosecutor Sarah Plaschkes said police officers found his lifeless body laying on his bed at his flat in Lavender Sweep.
“He had sustained a fatal stab wound to his heart and lungs and had a second wound to his head,” she said.
“The defendant was discovered in the bathroom with wounds to both wrists and a harpoon spear stuck out from underneath his chin.
“There were only two people in the flat, the front door was locked and the keys were on the inside of the door.”
When Morris was arrested he claimed the last thing he could remember was seeing his ex-girlfriend, Michelle Stangroom, three days previously.
“There is going to be no dispute in this case that the defendant inflicted the fatal wound, nor is it going to be in dispute that the defendant cut his own wrists and was responsible for the spear underneath his neck,” said Ms Plaschkes.
“It is the crown’s case that this defendant killed Henry in revenge for Michelle leaving him – rejecting him.”
The court heard that Michelle had ended the relationship around six weeks before Morris attacked her brother.
The jury was also told that Morris had a history of violent and aggressive behaviour towards his ex-girlfriends and had punched partner Ruth Owens in the stomach and spat in her face.
“He destroyed a canvas painting and a ring, which had been given by her grandmother, he threw into the river.
“He took revenge on her by destroying things that were precious to her,” said Ms Plaschkes.
The court heard Morris began his relationship with Miss Stangroom just a few weeks before his girlfriend at the time gave birth to their son.
Ms Plaschkes said that at the end of August last year, Morris and Miss Stangroom had an argument during the course of which he smashed a plate against the wall and grabbed her shoulders before throwing her onto the sofa and forcibly holding both her hands over her mouth. When she decided to end the relationship he killed her brother in revenge, it is claimed.
Morris, of Lavender Sweep, Battersea, denies murder.
The trial continues.
In 2011, Mr Stangroom was involved in a tragedy which resulted in the death of another young man from Odiham. He was driving on the A287 when the car hit Jack Bland, 19, who was walking home. Mr Stangroom pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and received an eight-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, in July 2012.