Murder accused had history of harming, says ex-lover
A man found with a harpoon impaled in his head after killing his flatmate had a history of self-harm, his ex-girlfriend has revealed.
Michelle Stangroom, sister to murdered Henry Stangroom, took to the stand today at the Old Bailey and revealed her former boyfriend of three years Andrew Morris had spiralled into depression months before she finally broke it off with him.
Mr Morris, 30, of Lavender Sweep, is accused of killing chef Mr Stangroom, 21, in a fit of jealous revenge-fuelled rage on the night of October 16 last year.
Mr Morris was found in the bathroom with slashed wrists and a harpoon spear stuck in his chin.
Miss Stangroom, 28, told the court she dated him for just under three years, and at the start he treated her to exotic trips and holidayed with her family.
The court heard Mr Morris, an actuary, was on a good salary, £80,000, and took her on holiday to Cuba for her birthday.
However she said he became depressed late in 2012 and began self-harming.
She moved out on August 29 last year after he became violent.
Asked about the relationship between Mr Morris and her brother, Miss Stangroom said they got on well and he had stayed in the flat after she left to check Mr Morris was OK.
She said: "He was concerned about Andrew Morris. Given his health problems he wanted to stay to make sure he was OK.
"My brother was a wonderful person - the kindest most chilled out person you ever met.
"His catchphrase was 'don't worry everything will be OK'.
"I never knew him to be violent."
The court heard that on September 1 the day after she left him Mr Morris tried to slit his wrists.
Miss Stangroom said: "I really wanted him to see a professional because I didn't know how to deal with someone who tries to take their own life and talks about it on a regular basis."
She got him an appointment with a GP who prescribed him anti-depressants although he would only take them when she encouraged him to.
The pair continued to speak and exchange texts. He told her he loved her, pleaded with her to come back and said he would stop taking cocaine and 'sort himself out'.
She said: "I wanted him to actually commit to promises he made rather than make more empty promises."
A number of text messages were read to the jury, where Mr Morris pleaded with her to come back and she offered him support and encouraging him to get help.
She said: "I had no intention of getting back with Mr Morris but I was worried about him and wanted to focus on him getting back to work and getting better."
The court also heard Miss Stangroom had helped him in a civil dispute involving his young son.
Recalling her last contact with her brother, Miss Stangroom said she enjoyed meals with him on October 9 and 14, before she exchanged text messages with him on October 16, just hours before his death.
Mr Morris pleads not guilty to murder. The trial continues.
- 19-year-old could lose council flat after starting fires
- Man charged with murder of Southfields grandmother found strangled
- Romany saved after owner agrees community sale
- Men appear in court accused of tampering with cash machine in south Wimbledon
- PICTURES: Battersea's York Road Estate unites for afternoon party