A South Tyneside man accused of murdering his parents was “moody, erratic and bad tempered” in the weeks leading up to their deaths, a court heard today.
Martin Ruddy, 29, was in such a state he had considered taking his own life, jurors have been told.
In the last two months before the incident happened he became very moody and erratic, bad tempered as well. We weren’t getting on that much either.Anthony Dixon, business partner
Business partner Anthony Dixon told Newcastle Crown Court that Ruddy had money worries, as well as the stress of his marriage breaking down.
Mr Dixon, who set up a security firm and fitness supplement shop in South Shields in partnership with Ruddy, told jurors they had become friends while working together as doormen.
Last year they branched out into their own business, setting up TM Security Ltd and the TM Suppliments store.
Mr Dixon said Ruddy told him he had personal issues in the weeks before the killings last December.
He said: “I know they were having money issues and also they weren’t happy being married, basically.
“He told me he was in debt, he didn’t say who to.
“I offered to help him sort his money issues out, but he didn’t accept that. He just told me he had debts.
“In the last two months before the incident happened he became very moody and erratic, bad tempered as well. We weren’t getting on that much either.”
Mr Dixon said the month before the killings, Ruddy told him he had contemplated ending his own life.
The court heard Ruddy had been missing for a day and a half and when he turned up again at the shop he told Mr Dixon he had crushed sleeping pills into a bottle of vodka.
Mr Dixon said; “He told me he was sitting on South Shields beach, he was on the beach with the vodka.”
Mr Dixon said Ruddy told him it was money and marital problems that led him to consider suicide.
Ruddy’s mother-in-law Anita Hall told jurors she had considered him to be the “perfect son-in-law”.
She added: “I did, I don’t know this Martin.”
Prosecutors claim Ruddy murdered his 54-year-old mum Carol Ruddy and 64-year-old dad Eric Ruddy at their home in Elswick, Newcastle, before staging a burglary so he could blame hooded intruders.
He denies two charges of murder. The trial continues.