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Man shot ex lover's brother from Odiham with spear gun, court hears

The trial of a man accused of stabbing a chef from Odiham to death at a south London flat continued this week

Henry Stangroom

A financial expert shot his ex-lover’s brother in the head with a spear gun while he slept in his bed, a court heard this week.

Andrew Morris crept through a darkened flat and attacked Henry Stangroom, the Old Bailey was told on Tuesday (May6).

Mr Stangroom,  21, from Odiham, suffered fatal wounds to the heart, lungs and head.

The chef, who lived in Rye Common with his family, was a former pupil of Lord Wandsworth College.

Morris, an actuary, is accused of murdering Mr Stangroom on October 18 last year.

He was killed when sleeping in a flat in south London, which the pair had shared with sister Michelle Stangroom.

Miss Stangroom broke up with Morris and insisted he should go back to work and see a psychiatrist before she would consider seeing him again.

The prosecution claims Morris, 30, murdered her brother in revenge for being dumped.

Cross-examining, prosecutor Sarah Plaschkes, said: “The flat was quiet until there were bangs and four screams, someone screaming in pain.

“The screaming was coming from Henry wasn’t it?

“He screamed as a result of you causing that spear to go 6cm into his skull.

“You stabbed him in the chest with the Victorinox knife.”

Morris, of Lavender Sweep, Battersea, replied: “That’s not true.

“I didn’t cause the spear to go into Henry.”

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

Morris claims he was mentally ill after suffering from depression and was living in a blur of alcohol and drugs at the time of the killing.

The defendent insists Mr Stangroom was awake at the time of the attack and that they had been arguing into the early hours of the morning.

“He was on the bed in front of me,” Morris said.

Miss Plaschkes said Mr Stangroom drew his last breath lying on the bed facing the wall.

“No, he coughed his last breath onto me,” Morris replied.

Morris then doused a cuddly toy duck in his ex’s perfume and stabbed it repeatedly, the court was told.

“The duck in your room had stab marks in it and you told us you sprayed it with Michelle’s perfume,” Miss Plaschkes said.

“Didn’t you make stab marks in your pillow and mattress?”

But Morris tried to pin the behaviour on his flatmate.

He replied: “I didn’t make stab marks on the duck - it wasn’t me.

“[Mr Stangroom] was the only person who could have done it.”

Morris claimed that illness reduced him from a once-confident financial expert to someone who was too terrified to open his front door.

He said he had attempted suicide several times, including once slashing his wrists while his brother and best friend were in the flat in Battersea.

After killing Mr Stangroom he fired a harpoon into his own neck in another unsuccessful suicide bid, said the prosecution. Police found Morris in the bathroom with wounds to his wrists and the harpoon spear sticking out from underneath his chin.

He claimed the last thing he could remember was seeing Miss Stangroom three days earlier.

Morris denies murder and the trial continues.

 

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