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Police force probed after soldier murdered ex-girlfriend

Alice Ruggles had complained Trimaan 'Harry' Dhillon was stalking her.

Death: Alice Ruggles felt 'palmed off' when she contacted police.
Death: Alice Ruggles felt 'palmed off' when she contacted police.

An investigation will take place into the actions of police before the murder of a woman by her stalker ex-boyfriend.

Alice Ruggles was murdered in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, by Scottish soldier Trimaan "Harry" Dhillon in October last year.

Dhillon killed Ms Ruggles by cutting her throat after driving to her flat from his barracks in Penicuick, Midlothian.

Ms Ruggles, 24, had complained Dhillon had been harassing her but felt "palmed off" by police, a murder trial was told.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has now said it will investigate the actions of Northumbria Police before her death.

An internal investigation by the force did not find evidence amounting to misconduct by any individual officer.

The IPCC will examine the police response to Ms Ruggles' initial call to police when she reported Dhillon was stalking her.

https://stv.tv/news/east-central/1385600-murder-victim-palmed-off-by-police-trial-hears/ | default

IPCC Commission delegate Ian Tolan said: "The IPCC received a referral from Northumbria Police after a domestic homicide review of their investigation into Alice's murder.

"The referral identified some potential conduct matters and, following careful assessment, an independent investigation is now underway.

"The specific details around the scope of the investigation, which is in its early stages, are still being finalised but it will look at the force's response following Alice's initial call to police regarding stalking and harassment by Trimaan Dhillon."

He continued: "Though rare, there are occasions when, following a local investigation, we feel a matter requires further consideration and it would be appropriate to investigate this independently.

"We recognise that our investigation, to some extent, re-opens this most tragic case.

"We have discussed our investigation with Alice's family, and our thoughts are with them as we carry out our work."

Guilty: Trimaan 'Harry' Dhillon was jailed for life.
Guilty: Trimaan 'Harry' Dhillon was jailed for life.

Dhillon, 26, was jailed for life after being convicted of her murder in April this year and will serve a minimum of 22 years.

After they broke up, he would repeatedly travel to her flat to knock on her door, tap on her window and leave flowers and chocolates outside.

He received an official warning about his behaviour and his commanding officer told him to stay away from her.

Ms Ruggles' flatmate told Newcastle Crown Court Dhillon had stalked and harassed her for months before her death.

After the verdict, Alice's mother Sue said Dhillon was a "cruel, manipulative bully."

She said: "With hindsight there were many signs of stalking that we did not recognise, everyone should know about these signs."

https://stv.tv/news/east-central/1386785-scots-soldier-murdered-ex-girlfriend-by-cutting-throat/ | default

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