Murder victim felt 'palmed off' by police just weeks before her death

Rawling Road, where Alice Ruggles was found dead. Pic: Google Maps.
Rawling Road, where Alice Ruggles was found dead. Pic: Google Maps.

A murder victim who had her throat slit "ear to ear" by her ex-lover felt "palmed off" after a concerned call to police weeks before her death, a court heard.

SAS hopeful Trimaan Dhillon, aka Harry, stalked his former girlfriend Alice Ruggles before killing her at her flat in Rawling Road, Gateshead, prosecutors say.

'Petrified' Alice reported Dhillon to Northumbria Police on September 20 last year, three weeks before her death, after he drove 260 miles from his barracks in Edinburgh to deliver a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates.

The lance corporal, who the court heard used his Army training to hack her social media accounts, was subsequently warned by his commanding officer to "sever all ties and stop communication with Alice".

But Newcastle Crown Court was told how Dhillon, 26, ignored the warning and continued to make contact with her, sending her letters, poems and even messaging her mother.

Alice's ex-flatmate Maxine McGill said she called the police again in October after receiving a package from him containing a letter, photos of them together and a notebook.

She said the 24-year-old was given a choice by police as to whether or not to get him arrested.

Prosecutor Richard Wright told the court she, 'generously decided not to have him arrested'.

Alice was discovered in a pool of blood at the home they shared on October 12 last year.

Maxine said: "She called 101 and the officer she spoke to before wasn't there so she spoke to the operator. She felt as if it was palmed off.

"She was asked the question 'what do you want to do about it?', and she said 'I don't know that is why I am phoning you, I'm getting back in contact.'

"She basically said it was a waste of time."

Describing the couple's relationship, Maxine, who said she felt "creeped out" by 26-year-old Dhillon, said: "It ruined Alice.

"She became introvert, visibly shaking, anxiety, skinny, she lost a lot of weight, she was pale, she was not as outgoing as she used to be. She would not do fun things and go out for meals.

"When it was over she was looking forward to the next chapter of her life. But she still became petrified when you would speak about him."

She said she was angry with Alice when she turned up at their shared house to find she couldn't get in and had to climb a back wall, but then found her bloodied body.

"I was going to have a row with her because of the windows and the doors unlocked.

"I stopped in my tracks and I just ran to her. The first thing I noticed was the amount of blood everywhere.

"For a second I thought that she had a fall and hurt her head, but then I seen everything.

"The amount of blood and the position she was lying in, I knew it had not been a fall," she told the court.

Dhillon, of Glencourse Barrack, Penicuik, Scotland, has denied a charge of murder and the trial continues.