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Man’s killer used concoction of drink and drugs, court hears

The jury at the Old Bailey heard the latest in the trial of Andrew Morris, accused of murdering 21-year-old Henry Stangroom

Henry Stangroom
Henry Stangroom

A financial expert killed his girlfriend’s brother after days spent in a “blur” of wine, cocaine and laughing gas, a court heard yesterday.

Andrew Morris knifed 21-year-old Henry Stangroom from Odiham “in revenge” after being dumped by his sister and then shot himself with a harpoon gun, a jury at the Old Bailey was told.

Morris was making a large salary as a risk assessor but was suffering from depression and had turned to drugs.

He repeatedly stabbed Mr Stangroom in the flat they had once shared with sister Michelle Stangroom, it was claimed.

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

Michelle had moved out six weeks before Mr Stangroom, a chef, was killed and 30-year-old Morris blamed him for the break up of the relationship, the jury was told.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Marcus Hughes saw Morris the day after the death on October 18 last year. He said Morris was ‘bewildered, sweaty, slightly agitated and slightly confused’.

Dr Hughes said Morris was suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms and said he had been drinking three bottles of wine a night. The defendant also confessed to taking large doses of cocaine and had also been inhaling nitrous oxide, or laughing gas.

“He told me in general he was using drugs with Henry and his flatmate and his ex-girlfriend Michelle,” said Dr Hughes. During the consultation at St George's Hospital, Tooting, Morris said he would take £150 of cocaine in one go.

Depression

The court heard Morris had been suffering from depression and has cut his wrists twice before.

“He told me he had taken four or five overdoses,” said Dr Hughes.

Morris had hallucinations and was hearing voices that would order him to change the TV channel, but was not suffering from psychotic symptoms, added the doctor.

The court was told that Morris had gone to see psychotherapist Mark Bailey at his Regent Street clinic three months before he killed Mr Stangroom.

Mr Bailey said Morris told him how he had been beaten by his father as a child and had smashed his head against a radiator.

Mr Bailey found he was suffering from depression and booked him in for two further appointments, but Morris did not turn up.

He claimed the last thing he could remember was seeing Michelle three days before.

Violent and aggressive

Miss Stangroom said she decided to end their relationship about six weeks before Morris attacked her brother because of his fits of rage.

Last week the jury was told Morris had a history of violent and aggressive behaviour towards his ex-girlfriends. He started his affair with Miss Stangroom shortly before another girlfriend gave birth to their son.

Laura Teague, the mother, said she met Morris in March 2010 and found she was pregnant in July. She was made to cook a meal and clean up hours after returning home from giving birth. Morris was only home for four nights in a month as he continued his affair with Ms Stangroom, she claimed.

Another girlfriend, Ruth Owen, told how he tore up her clothes, smashed her paintings, threw her treasured jewellery in a river and attacked her. When he found out about a 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, now in its third week, continues.

 

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