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Parents pay tribute to 'perfect son' Henry Stangroom
“WE COULDN’T have asked for a nicer son. It’s a tragic loss of an innocent young man. He wouldn’t have hurt a fly.”
Those are the words of heartbroken father Jerry Stangroom who, with his family, is mourning the death of his son Henry.
The body of the 21-year-old chef was found by police officers last Thursday evening at his home in Battersea, south-west London. He had suffered fatal stab wounds to the heart and lung.
Andrew Morris, 30, thought to be Mr Stangroom’s flatmate, was subsequently arrested after being taken to hospital with neck injuries. He was charged with murder on Tuesday, and was yesterday due to appear at Croydon Magistrates’ Court.
Former Lord Wandsworth College pupil Mr Stangroom, whose family live in Rye Common, Odiham, was a chef at the upmarket Criterion Restaurant in Piccadilly Circus, London.
Paying tribute to his son, his father told The Gazette: “He was the perfect son and brother. He always had a smile on his face.We couldn’t have asked for a nicer son.
“We are very much in shock and feeling numb, nothing seems real. He was the perfect son and brother. He always had a smile on his face.
“He loved his job. He always wanted to be a chef. Cooking is the only thing he has ever been interested in. It was his life.”
Friend George Moore, who also went to Lord Wandsworth College, and lives in nearby Crondall, said: “Henry was the nicest, most innocent, courageous friend with a heart of gold.
“He was always smiling and nev-er had a bad word to say about anyone. He will be deeply missed by all.”
After leaving Lord Wandsworth College at the age of 18, Mr Stangroom trained at the Tante Marie academy in Woking, Surrey, an independent cookery school co-owned by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.
Irakli Sopromadze, owner of the Criterion, a 135-year-old restaurant formerly owned by Marco Pierre White, said the young chef was very trustworthy, honest, and he was very passionate about his work.
“I genuinely think he would have been very successful in his career as a chef. It is very tragic – he will be very missed by everybody.”
In 2011, Mr Stangroom was involved in a tragedy which resulted in the death of another young man, from Odiham.
He was driving a car on the A287 near the Broad Oak roundabout, on the night of September 11, when it hit Jack Bland, 19, who was walking back to his home in London Road.
Mr Stangroom told the police he thought he had hit a deer, but had found nothing in the road.
He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, for driving after the crash with a badly-damaged windscreen, and received an eight-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, in July 2012.