Family of Alice Ruggles reveal how life has changed since her murder
Heartbroken family of murdered Alice Ruggles whose throat was slit by her stalker soldier ex admit ‘normal life no longer exists’ following her tragic death
- The family of murder victim Alice Ruggles have opened about their grief
- In a new documentary, her sister Emma said their lives will never be the same
- Her brother Nick said he feels ’empty’ when he thinks about his sister’s death
- Alice had been stalked by her ex boyfriend before she slashed her throat
- Lance Corporal Trimaan ‘Harry’ Dhillon is serving a prison sentence for her death
The heartbroken family of Alice Ruggles have revealed how their life has changed beyond recognition since she was murdered.
In October 2016, the former Sky worker was found by her horrified flatmate with her throat slashed in their Gateshead home, after months of being stalked and harassed by her ex-boyfriend Lance Corporal Trimaan ‘Harry’ Dhillon.
Dhillon was jailed for a minimum of 22 years when he was found guilty of Alice’s murder in April 2017, but in a new documentary, her siblings have revealed they will never have closure.
The family, who have set up the Alice Ruggles Trust in her name, appear in 5STAR’s Murdered By My Stalker to talk about their grief nearly two years after she died.
‘There’s no such thing as normality, you can’t go back to normal it doesn’t exist anymore,’ her older sister Emma Ruggles said in a tearful interview.
Alice Ruggles was stalked by her ex-boyfriend before he murdered her in October 2017
‘I’m hoping one day it’ll go to a stage where my memories are nice memories of her and not just the horrible stuff that happened in the end.’
Her brother Nick said he still feels ’empty’ when he thinks of how his sister died.
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During the trial her loved ones were forced to listen to Dhillon claim that Alice had spoken badly of them as she lay dying when he slit her neck ‘from ear to ear’.
In particular he taunted Alice’s father Clive by saying he regretted that her dad wasn’t there to protect her in her final moments.
Lance Corporal Trimaan ‘Harry’ Dhillon is serving a minimum sentence of 22 years in prison
Alice’s brother Nick (pictured left) says he feels ’empty’ when he thinks about her death, while her sister Emma (right) says the family will never be the same
Clive said: ‘You know these people are cold, you know there’s no emotion. But how he can just stand up there and come out with this… I suppose I was just numbed by it.’
Her mother Sue has previously revealed how she didn’t think Dhillon was a threat, and thought he would leave Alice alone if she continued to ignore him
Sue said: ‘I thought he was just a bad boyfriend who wouldn’t leave her alone.’
She described how she felt when the family case face-to-face with Dhillon in court, revealing that he couldn’t even look at the family.
The family were forced to listen to Dhillon claim that Alice had spoken badly of them as she lay dying (pictured are her parents Clive and Sue)
WHO IS ALICE RUGGLES’ KILLER HARRY DHILLON?
Alice Ruggles was murdered by Lance Corporal Trimaan ‘Harry’ Dhillon in October 2016.
Dhillon was a serving soldier with the Royal Highland Fusiliers (2 Scots) with hopes of joining the special forces and lived in barracks outside Edinburgh.
They couple got together in October 2015 after he spotted her photo on a mutual friend’s Facebook page.
After they started a relationship Dhillon would check her messages and question why she was trying to look nice when she went out.
But all along Dhillon had been unfaithful to Ms Ruggles, and she had even been sent messages from women he’d been in contact with.
On the evening of the discovery of his Alice’s body, Dhillon was arrested at his barracks having tried to scale a perimeter fence, the court heard.
He was allowed a toilet break before police arrived and tried to wash blood away. But traces were found on his Help for Heroes wristband and on the steering wheel of his car.
‘I wanted him to look over at us so he could how angry we all were, but he didn’t ever have the bravery to look at us at all,’ Sue continued.
The family are backing campaigns for stalking to be taken more seriously.
In 2017, there were 8,364 reported cases of stalking, and the National Stalking Helpline received over 7,000 calls and emails that year.
Alice who worked as an office coordinator for Sky was found dead by her flatmate and friend Maxine McGill.
She told police Dhillon was ‘definitely’ behind the killing when she called 999 following the horrific discovery at their home.
The harrowing 999 call, which was played in court during Dhillon’s trial, records Ms McGill attempting to wake her friend, shouting: ‘Alice! Alice! Alice!’
She tells the operator: ‘She’s covered in blood in the bathroom. I cannot look.’
Amid tears, she then adds: ‘She’s blue. She’s not breathing, there’s blood everywhere and her leg looks broke… she’s dead.’
Dhillon – whose actual first name is Trimaan – harassed Miss Ruggles after they split up, hacking into her phone and bombarding her with emails.
He also drove from his barracks in Edinburgh to her home in Gateshead to leave chocolates and flowers on her window sill.
Alice had called the police terrified her life was in danger shortly before she was murdered
PARENTS OF ALICE RUGGLES REVEAL HOW THEY MISSED THE SIGNS SHE WAS DATING A KILLER
Dr Sue Hills and her husband Professor Clive Ruggles have said they missed the warning signs that the man that murdered their daughter Alice was dangerous.
‘As soon as the police told us, we knew that it was Dhillon,’ her father told MailOnline last year.
‘No other thought crossed our minds. He had been stalking our daughter and wouldn’t leave her alone.’
Now they rue the day that they welcomed Dhillon, a Lance Corporal and signaller with the 2 Scots regiment, into their home, inviting him to spend a week on holiday with them in a cottage off the coast of Cornwall in the week before the break-up.
They feel so regretful that they did not spot the ‘warning signals’ that they have set up a trust in their daughter’s name to educate other young people and their families about the dangers of coercive behaviour.
The couple’s relationship was fraught from the start as Dhillon tried to alienate her from her friends. By the time he went on holiday with the Ruggles that August, the writing was on the wall.
‘She did ring me up prior to the holiday and say: ‘Mum I’ve got no friends anymore,’ recalled Dr Hills.
‘When you think back to what a popular happy girl she was, you realise there was something really wrong then. But I didn’t really see it at the time.
‘I just thought that it was normal angst. Now I would know immediately that it was a warning sign.
‘Even when he came on holiday with us we wouldn’t have said he was a potential murderer. He was a bit immature and self-centred and kept saying what he thought we wanted to hear, that he was going to look after Alice.
‘It is only in retrospect that we realised that was weird. We look at photographs of that holiday now and she was clearly unhappy. She wasn’t her normal self. She looks as if she were haunted.’
His actions prompted her to phone the police, telling them that she had heard knocking on her doors and windows and was worried about Dhillon’s actions.
She told them: ‘He’s hacked into my Facebook and sent me messages… he sent me a message saying “I’ve been in your garden since 5”.
‘There was a knock at my door and when I looked there was no one there. And then it happened again. And then he’s come round the back, knocked on my bedroom window. He’s been outside and left some flowers and chocolate on my bedroom window.
‘He’s left, he’s not done anything but I’m just concerned. My friends have been telling me to call the police. I just feel a bit shaken up.’
Dhillon was made the subject of a Police Information Notice, but later contacted his terrified ex, prompting her again to phone police.
Alice’s parents have admitted that they missed the warning signs that the man she was seeing was dangerous
But no action was taken and five days later Dhillon returned to her home and brutally killed her.
Dhillon had served in Afghanistan but not in a combat role and the Army was unaware of any traumatic episode during his service.
The 2 Scots Signaller, who hoped to join the SAS in reconnaissance, was tall, powerfully-built and was a signaller with his regiment and had passed some of the courses to join the special forces.
The couple had got together in October 2015 after he’d spotted her photo on a mutual friend’s Facebook page, describing Alice as ‘the most naturally beautiful girl in the world’.
Alice was at first put off by the comment, but changed her mind and decided to give him a chance.
Throughout the relationship, Dhillon would check her messages and question why she was trying to look nice when she went out.
They split up, but he began relentlessly stalking her when he thought she might be starting a new relationship.
Murdered By My Stalker airs at 9pm on Tuesday on 5STAR
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