Man accused of murdering Odiham chef Henry Stangroom appears in the dock

Basingstoke Gazette: Henry Stangroom, who was stabbed to death in Battersea. Henry Stangroom, who was stabbed to death in Battersea.

A MAN, accused of murdering an Odiham chef, searched “spear gun death accident”, “murder by mental illness” and “sentencing for murder in the UK” on the internet in the day leading up to the killing.

But Andrew Morris told a jury at the Old Bailey that the searches related to what he had watched on television.

Morris, 30, of Lavender Sweep, Battersea, London, was found with a harpoon spear stuck in his chin after he killed his housemate Henry Stangroom, 21, by stabbing him in the chest in revenge for his sister Michelle Stangroom, 28, breaking up with him.

Mr Stangroom who worked at The Criterion restaurant, in Piccadilly Circus, had previously lived with his parents in Rye Common, Odiham.

Morris, a former Cambridge University mathematics student, started giving evidence on Monday, describing the events that led up to Mr Stangroom’s death, on October 17 last year.

Days before the incident, while Morris was off work, he searched online for how long it takes for someone to bleed to death and about spear gun accidents. Morris said the searches were related to what he had been watching on television.

When Morris was arrested for murder, he told the police the last thing he could remember was hugging former girlfriend Miss Stangroom on the doorstep a few days previously.

However, by the end of Tuesday, the jury were told Morris’ memory of the incident had returned.

He said: “My memory of that evening and that morning is probably not as clear as my memory of maybe other days around it, but I have certainly recovered a significant amount of memories around the events of that day.”

Roderick Johnson, defending, asked Morris about his childhood and relationship with his father.

The jury heard the discovery of explicit sexual images drawn by his father led to a family breakdown when Morris was 21.

It was only in December last year, when his father visited him in prison, that he heard these drawings were inspired by sexual abuse his father had witnessed as a child, Morris said.

Morris also denied attacking Miss Stangroom, saying he was trying to restrain her, during an argument in the flat on August 29.

He did however tell the jury he had physically abused a previous girlfriend called Ruth Owens, when he discovered she was having an affair with her boss.

Morris denies a single count of murder. He claims he killed Mr Stangroom in self-defence.

The trial continues.

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