How we use Cookies

Killer attacked girlfriend before stabbing her brother, court hears

The trial of Andrew Morris, accused of killing 21-year-old Henry Stangroom, continues at the Old Bailey. The jury was told Morris attacked his girlfriend and broke precious items of hers.

Ed Willcox, Central News
Michelle Stangroom arrives at the Old Bailey

A financial expert attacked his girlfriend after a series of rows weeks before stabbing her brother to death, a court has heard.

Andrew Morris knifed 21-year-old Henry Stangroom from Odiham after being dumped by his sister, a jury at London’s Old Bailey was told.

Mr Stangroom, a chef who worked at the up-market Criterion Restaurant in Piccadilly Circus, was found dead at their flat in Battersea, south London, after police battered down the door at around 8.55pm on October 17 last year. Morris was found with slit wrists and a harpoon sticking out from underneath his chin in the bathroom of the flat.

Former Lord Wandsworth College pupil Mr Stangroom, whose family live in Rye Common, had suffered fatal wounds to the heart, lungs and head.

There is no dispute Morris killed Mr Stangroom but his barristers claim he had been using cocaine heavily in the lead up to the death.

Morris, a 30-year-old actuary, met Mr Stangroom’s sister Michelle while working for a company called Pensions First in March 2010. By February 2011 they were in a relationship.

The jury was told last week that Morris stormed off at a friend’s wedding and later snapped her pair of Tiffany sunglasses because she ‘abandoned him’. It was the first Christmas gift he had ever bought her.

He later ripped a handbag he had given her and smashed an antique lamp that belonged to her grandmother, it is claimed.

Morris also broke her crutches when she had a foot injury leaving her housebound, the court heard.

His violence culminated in pinning her against a wall the day after her birthday, the prosecution alleges.

Miss Stangroom told the court: “I was on pretty strong painkillers for my foot and was feeling quite tired. He took me to bed but didn’t stay. He went back downstairs and carried on drinking and I cried myself to sleep. I woke up and he hadn’t come to bed which I was upset about and I went downstairs. He was passed out in the lounge.”

Miss Stangroom said she then made herself breakfast and asked Morris to help her carry it into the lounge.

“At which point he grabbed the tea and breakfast, walked into the kitchen and threw both at the wall,” she said. “He then went into the lounge and closed the curtains. I followed him in there and asked what is the problem. He threw me across the room. I hit my head and neck on the sofa and wall. He pinned me down, put his hands over my nose and mouth and grabbed at me.”

Henry Stangroom
Henry Stangroom
 

She said she decided to end their relationship and that she never dared sleep at the flat again. This was about six weeks before Morris attacked her brother.

Morris is alleged to have had a history of violent and aggressive behaviour towards his other ex-girlfriends. Morris started his affair with Miss Stangroom shortly before another girlfriend gave birth to their son.

Laura Teague, the mother of Morris's son, told the court that she met him in March 2010 and found she was pregnant in July.

"When I got home I had to cook for him and his mother, a pasta meal, and clean up," she said. "That was just hours after getting out of hospital. Then he disappeared on his poker games after than. He basically wasn't around. When he was he just sat on the computer on the internet."

Morris was only home for four nights in a month as he carried on the affair with Ms Stangroom

Another girlfriend, Ruth Owen, told how the young actuary tore up her clothes, smashed her paintings, threw her treasured jewellery in a river and attacked her. When he found out about the relationship she was having with an older man he urinated into a glass and woke her up in the middle of to hurl it into her face.

Morris, of Lavender Sweep, Battersea, denies murder. The trial continues.

 

Journalists

James Chapple
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Laura Nightingale
Yateley Reporter
Natalie Garland
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Fergus McEwan
Community & Schools Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area