Alice Ruggles was just 24 years old on Friday October 12th 2016, when her ex-boyfriend Harry Dhillon, unable to accept that their relationship was over, broke into her Gateshead flat, and brutally murdered her.
Alice was working for Sky television when Dhillon made contact with her via a mutual friend. Their relationship quickly became serious and Alice was besotted.
Behind the scenes it was a different story, Dhillon was alienating Alice from her friends. In July of that year, she discovered he had been sending messages to another girl on Tinder, and she broke up with him.
What followed was a relentless campaign of texts, emails and voicemail messages that grew malicious in nature. After Alice blocked his number, he harassed friends and family, as well as hacking into her social media. From this, he learned that Alice was now dating Mike, a friend of her sister Emma.
Furious, Dhillon’s barrage of messages increased significantly, he made a 200 mile trip just to leave flowers and chocolates on her doorstep. Alice called the police, and they issued a cease and desist notice, which Alice believed would end her torment. When it didn’t, and Dhillon sent her a package with a letter and photos, her friend Maxine contacted the police again.
This time they were less than helpful, Alice in her desperation said to her friend; “How serious is it going to be? Is it going to be when he comes round and kills me that they take it seriously?”
Three days later, these words came true.
To experience stalking is a truly horrific experience in itself, but sadly this case shows just how far this behaviour can escalate.
New legislation; ‘ The Stalking Protection Bill’, is currently making it’s way through parliament, which, if passed will mean that the police can issue protection orders to stalking victims. This would be a step forward in ensuring that other tragic deaths such as Alice’s are prevented, and that victims receive the support to which they should be entitled.
Alice’s story is being told in a new Channel 5 documentary which first aired last Tuesday and is repeated tomorrow Thursday 12th 10:10pm on 5Star.