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Soldier 'slit ex-girlfriend's throat from ear-to-ear'

Trimaan Dhillon on trial accused of murdering Alice Ruggles in Gateshead.

Death: Alice Ruggles was found 'blue' and covered in blood.
Death: Alice Ruggles was found 'blue' and covered in blood.

A soldier murdered his former girlfriend by slitting her throat "from ear to ear", a court heard.

A jury was played the 999 call when Alice Ruggles' flatmate found her "blue" and covered in blood on the bathroom floor of the home they shared in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.

In the call, Maxine McGill named lance corporal Trimaan "Harry" Dhillon as the suspect, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Dhillon, who was a serving soldier with the Royal Regiment of Scotland with hopes of joining the special forces and who lived in barracks outside Edinburgh, denies murder.

Ms McGill came home to their flat on Rawling Road, Bensham, last October and found the front door locked.

After shouting for Ms Ruggles to let her in, she climbed a wall into their back yard and got in through an open window.

She found her 24-year-old friend lying on the bathroom floor "literally covered in blood", Richard Wright QC told the jury.

The prosecutor said Ms McGill immediately knew Ms Ruggles was dead.

He said: "She had suffered horrendous injuries she could not have survived. Someone had slit her throat open from ear to ear, leaving her neck wide open."

Mr Wright said the victim bled to death on the bathroom floor.

He played the 999 call to jurors on Monday in which Ms McGill appeared extremely distressed and breathed heavily, sometimes calling out her friend's name.

At one point she said: "It looks like she's been attacked. Please help."

She told the call handler Ms Ruggles had reported having trouble with her ex-boyfriend Dhillon, claiming she had called 101 in the past.

Mr Wright said the flatmate had good reason to name Dhillon, who was charged under his first name Trimaan.

He said: "Maxine had seen the obsessive and manipulative manner in which Dhillon had harassed and stalked Alice in the weeks and months before her death.

"She had seen firsthand how Alice's happy, bubbly demeanour had changed over time."

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