The murder of a 24-year-old who had her neck slashed by her ‘psychopath’ soldier ex-boyfriend has been highlighted as a ‘potent reminder’ of why women must be taken seriously when reporting abuse.
Alice Ruggles bled to death in her Gateshead flat last October after Lance Corporal Trimaan ‘Harry’ Dillon cut her throat from ear to ear after he discovered that she had found happiness with another man.
The soldier, who slashed her neck in an act of ‘utter barbarism’ was jailed for life yesterday with a minimum term of 22 years at Newcastle Crown Court.
The court heard how the 26-year-old had alienated Ms Ruggles from her friends and been handed a harassment notice, but despite complaining to the police she chose not to have him arrested.
Speaking after the case, Women’s Aid chief executive Polly Neate claimed that Miss Ruggles had been ‘made to feel like a burden.’
‘The devastating murder of Alice Ruggles is a potent reminder of why women reporting abuse must be taken seriously every single time’, she said.
‘How many more women must be killed before we see robust investment in training for all agencies on domestic abuse – especially coercive control?
‘How many women must be killed before we see robust sanctions being implemented swiftly when a perpetrator continues to harass his victim – even after the police are involved?’
Dhillon, a signaller with the 2 scots, drove 120 miles from his barracks near Edinburgh to confront Miss Ruggles and grabbed a long, sharp carving knife, cutting through to her spine.
She had tried to lock herself in the bathroom, but Dhillon kicked it down.
After committing the horrific crime, he left without calling 999 but remembered to take Miss Ruggles’ phone and the murder weapon, disposing of them on the way back to Edinburgh.
Jailing him, Judge Paul Sloan QC said: ‘You were pinning her down, probably by kneeling on her back, and in an act of utter barbarism you slashed her throat with a knife, slashed her at least six times, causing catastrophic injuries.
‘Not a shred of remorse have you shown from first to last, indeed you were concentrating so hard on getting your story right when giving evidence, you forgot even to shed a crocodile tear.’