Debt-ridden son faces double life sentence after being found guilty of murdering his parents

Martin Ruddy has been found guilty of the murder of both his parents.
Martin Ruddy has been found guilty of the murder of both his parents.

A debt-ridden son who murdered his parents then staged a violent break-in so he could blame intruders is facing a double life sentence.

Martin Ruddy, who stood to inherit almost £90,000, bludgeoned Eric Ruddy, 64, in the hallway of their home and strangled Carol Ruddy, 54, using an HDMI television cable in the living room.

There is only one sentence that can be imposed in the circumstances of this case and that is life imprisonment. I will have to decide the minimum term you must serve before you can even be considered for release.

Judge Paul Sloan QC

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 29-year-old, whose marriage was in the process of breaking down, then injured himself, stabbed his chest with a pair of nail scissors and trashed the house before going to a neighbour to raise the alarm.

Ruddy told detectives his parents’ home had come under attack by strangers as they sat watching an Olly Murs programme on television together and the attackers left him as the sole survivor.

He claimed two men stormed into the living room when his dad answered a knock at the door and another raider was heard searching around upstairs.

Ruddy claimed he had been knocked unconscious by the attackers when the cruel killings of the devoted couple were carried out.

Former binman Eric Ruddy suffered blunt force trauma to his head, which had also been cut with a knife or knives.

His wife Carol, an ex-Newcastle University employee, had two bruised lines around her neck from ligature strangulation.

Ruddy provided police with detailed descriptions of two of the men he blamed for the killngs, saying one was ginger and the other brown-haired and both were wearing dark clothes and gloves.

But jurors heard during the trial that scientific evidence and CCTV footage revealed no trace of the hooded strangers being at the terraced house in Bentinck Street, Elswick, Newcastle, on the night of the killings, December 12 last year.

Former doorman Ruddy, who ran security business TM Securities and fitness supplements shop TM Supplements at The Nook in South Shields, denied murder throughout the trial.

In a shock revelation, which he never mentioned to detectives during interrogation, Ruddy said he had been making money in the weeks leading up to the killings by selling cocaine.

He frequently broke down in tears while in the witness box when giving his account of what happened that night, and said he had a “loving” relationship with his parents.

After just over an hour’s deliberation, jurors rejected his raid story outright and found him guilty of the murders of his mum and dad.

Ruddy, who bowed his head as family members broke down in tears in the public gallery, will be sentenced tomorrow.

Judge Paul Sloan Qc told him: “There is only one sentence that can be imposed in the circumstances of this case and that is life imprisonment.

“I will have to decide the minimum term you must serve before you can even be considered for release.”

The judge will hear impact statements from remaining family members at the hearing.