Battersea murder accused Andrew Morris: Father's brutal sexual artwork affected his childhood

Henry Stangroom was stabbed to death in Battersea in October

Henry Stangroom was stabbed to death in Battersea in October

First published in News
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Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A father-of-one accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend's brother discovered graphic sexual drawings by his father in the garden shed when he was a young man, a court heard.

Former KPMG worker, Andrew Morris, 30, was called to the stand today at the Old Bailey accused of murdering 21-year-old Henry Stangroom in revenge for his sister breaking up with him.

Young chef Henry Stangroom was found on his bed in a pool of blood with wounds to his chest and head at his flat on Lavender Sweep, Battersea, London on October 17 last year.

Mr Morris was found in the bathroom with slit wrists and shot in the head with a harpoon gun.

Roderick Johnson opened the defence case this morning by questioning Mr Morris about his childhood and relationship with his father.

Mr Morris told the court he had a good relationship with his father, an aerospace engineer, until he turned 13 and his father was made redundant.

The family moved from Bournemouth to Newmarket into a council house where he said his father would beat him "infrequently". Mr Morris said: "Probably the worst one was being thrown against a radiator. The corner of it hit the side of my head and the side of my head swelled up quite badly. It happened the night before my first day at the new school."

The court heard how Mr Morris' father had guided and influenced him through his education and career path.

However, at the age of 21, when Mr Morris was studying a masters degree in mathematics at Cambridge University he and his mother discovered a box with thousands of graphic drawings inside.

He said: "The pictures were all relatively similar, depicting a sexual act on a woman and quite often the man would have an iron bar in his hand.

"My mother explained to me that she had seen them before when we were all much much younger and told my father not to do it anymore.

"But she wanted to have something done about discovering the pictures and explained to me she thought she was the subject of the pictures and thought my father was going to hurt her and therefore wanted to get him sectioned."

The pair went to the GP and then to the police with the images and that night, the court heard, Mr Morris' brother refused him entry back into the home and he left.

Mr Morris visited his father and said: "I went to my father and asked him again for an explanation and he told me there was an explanation but he will tell me when I was a bit older."

Mr Morris had no further face-to-face contact with his father over the next eight years until his dad came to visit him in prison, following the death of Mr Stangroom, in December 2013 when he finally gave him an explanation of the drawings.

Mr Morris said: "When my father was six-years-old he witnessed his mother being raped by a man with some sort of weapon and he started drawing pictures of it at primary school.

"He was reprimanded for that by his headmistress I think around the time when caning was still in school.

"So I believe she became the subject of the drawings and something he continued to do throughout his life.”

The court heard how Mr Morris was working for KPMG in late 2011 and was on a £120,000 a year salary before being made redundant.

The jury was also told about his previous relationships including his discovery his ex, Ruth Owen, had been having a relationship with her boss.

Mr Morris admitted he became physically abusive towards her following the discovery by spitting in her face, pushing her in the stomach and throwing warm water over her allowing her to believe it was his urine.

The trial continues.


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