“You were harassing her, you were stalking her, you were destroying her.” | The Terrifying Story of What Happened To Alice Ruggles

(Alice Ruggles. Picture credit: BBC News)

You know, as I approach my birthday I always go through a period of reflection, not only about the year that has just gone but my life in general and what is to come. I count myself lucky to still be here, to be able to enjoy my life, to do the things that I want to do and go through all of life's experiences both good and bad. I then think of the people that I have written about on this blog over the years. I wasn't lying when I said that every case has touched me personally, I don't think you could go on a journey through each of these cases I've covered and not feel something for the victims and the survivors (and their families) of such horrendous crimes. 
I was going through my notes the other day and stumbled across Alice's story and I felt this pain of knowing how many of these similar cases I have written about in the past, how I've been a victim myself of a crazed stalker and how there are people out there right now who are going through it and we are still hitting this brick wall of victims not being protected enough. 

Alice's story might be familiar to you, it might not be but I wanted to share it with you because it deserves to be told, for Alice's sake, her families sake and for anyone who has been through a similar experience or is currently going through this right now. 

I will be sharing some distressing details in this post so please bare that in mind. 

Alice Ruggles was the life and soul of the party, a beautiful girl who everyone remembers with a smile on their face. Alice was one of those rare people that you find who was just as beautiful inside as she was outside. I know people can sometimes have a tendency to speak about people who have passed almost as if they were walking angels on earth but with Alice it was the truth. Such a short life but a life that was packed full of talent, things always going on, love and laughter and she gave so much joy to others that when she did pass away, it left a huge hole that can never be filled. 

2016 doesn't seem that long ago when Alice's life was cruelly taken in the most sickening way in the comfort of her own home but it has never been forgotten and to those who had the fortune of knowing her, it feels like it just happened yesterday. 

Alice was such a talented person that I could basically spend a whole post just writing about her achievements alone but I think you get the picture that she really was a pure light in this world. Alice had it all and a loving supportive family too. She was a real people person and could make friends very easily. Alice grew up in a small town in Leicestershire in England with her close family. She was always very popular and fun to be around. She was so close with her family and friends that she stayed in regular touch with them, almost everyday through WhatsApp groups and Facebook. 

Like a lot of young women, Alice was a romantic and was waiting for her knight in shining armour to come along and soon enough, along came a young man by the name of Harry Dhillon (real name: Trimaan Dhillon). Harry seemed too good to be true, the perfect gentleman and he seemed to be besotted with Alice. His accent was quite muddled with both a mix of Scottish and English and he was based in Edinburgh. He was a soldier too which probably added a bit more of a romantic excitement for Alice as it would have for a lot of women. Harry was just a couple of years older than Alice but the pair seemed to have quite a lot in common and when they grew closer and began their relationship, Alice couldn't have been happier. 

But, as we've seen in so many of these cases, Harry wasn't the knight in shining armour that he was portraying himself to be. In fact, he had a history of being controlling with previous partners and was quite a sinister character. Things started to go downhill pretty quickly as soon as Harry felt that he and Alice were a fully committed couple. He began thinking that he could tell her what to do, what to wear and who to talk to. Alice being someone who always tried to see others point of view, put this down to him being overprotective. He would often make excuses for his mood swings and controlling behaviour by trying to say that he was only doing that because he loved her and that it wouldn't happen again but it always did. 

As well as the controlling behaviour, he was constantly bombarding her every minute of the day, she felt like she couldn't breathe. What started off as this romantic love story with a Scottish soldier, soon became a living nightmare and Alice couldn't wait to get rid of him. After deep conversations with family and friends, Alice decided it was time to cut ties with Harry, she was hoping to do it in a sensitive and gentle way as to not hurt him as much as possible. 

It was a total disaster though because even though the pair had been drifting apart for a while and there was nothing but mood swings and arguments, Harry just didn't want to let things go. Alice was bombarded with endless calls, messages and emails at all hours of the day and night, voice messages of Harry crying, begging and pleading, threatening to harm himself if she didn't take him back. Harry tried all sort of tactics including sending flowers and chocolates but it was no good, Alice had made up her mind. It was best to put a stop to things now before they got any worse. There was fear for quite some time that his unstable behaviour and mood swings could turn violent at some point and Alice didn't want to hang around and wait for that to happen. It was clear he was a ticking time bomb but just how dangerous he truly was? nobody knew. 

(Harry Trimaan Dhillon. Picture credit: Bustle)

Harry soon turned from a love sick puppy, begging and pleading, to a determined man who was hell bent on revenge which is often the case in these circumstances. The controller and manipulator often tries the whimpering and crying routine to get the victim back and when that doesn't work, anger soon follows. 

Having been through this stage myself it is very frightening. I cannot begin to describe the fear and the memory of it never leaves you. I still remember the threats that I had of being burned alive, my family were going to come to harm, threats about making things difficult for me at work, flowers sent to my house, my house being watched, my Facebook friends being contacted and the sight of him through the frosted windows of my front door at my old house, banging the door down at 10pm on a dark Sunday night. All very intimidating and threatening behaviour that nobody wants to be on the receiving end of. I can't put myself exactly in Alice's shoes but I can empathise. 

It's almost like these guys follow a script or train for this sort of sickening behaviour and there are women out there who can be just as twisted and evil. 

As well as the constant threats and unstable behaviour, Harry harassed Alice on social media and hacked her Facebook. All of this was still going on even three months after she told him it was over. The gifts sent to her house continued and when Harry was paranoid that Alice had met someone else, his anger reached boiling point. 

Everyone around Alice knew that Harry was trouble but nobody knew what to do, they tried to support her the best they could and Alice even contacted the police for advice. He was told to stay away from her but he sent her a letter and she contacted the police again. Harry knew that Alice was 100% done with him and that there was no going back. Unable to deal with what he saw as rejection (even though he was to blame for treating her the way that he had done in the relationship) he drove all the way from Edinburgh to the flat that Alice shared with her friend in England, all the while probably stewing and going over and over again in his mind, that Alice had rejected him and he'd heard through the grapevine that she had started a new relationship. It was later found out that Harry had been unfaithful to Alice many times throughout their relationship. He really was the boyfriend (and ex) from hell.  

That night Alice was in her flat alone just texting friends and trying on a dress. At some point, Harry climbed up a drain pipe and managed to get into her flat though an open window. Alice tried to get away from him by locking herself in the bathroom. It's hard to imagine how terrified she must have been as he kicked the bathroom door in and finally he was able to reach her, throwing her to the ground and attacking her with such a force that she broke her leg. The horrifying details of what he did to Alice is the stuff of unimaginable nightmares, he pinned the poor girl down to the floor and knelt on her back as he gabbed her head and slashed her throat from ear to ear in an attempt to decapitate her. There was blood everywhere and after he'd finished his sickening act, he fled the scene and went back to Edinburgh. 

That night, Alice's flatmate returned and noticed that the lights were on but Alice wasn't responding to her calls. As she approached the bathroom, she saw the damage to the door, the debris and Alice's body on the bathroom floor, with her leg broken and blood everywhere. She got on the phone and made the devastating phone call to the police in tears and utter fear. Alice was sadly deceased at the young age of 24. 

As soon as Alice's death was known, everybody knew who was responsible. When Harry was taken into custody he didn't have a tear in his eye, no shred of remorse, he gave a ridiculous story but it was no good, he knew the cards were stacked high against him and he was charged with Alice's murder. In the end, he was given a sentence of 22 years and told by Judge Sloan at Newcastle Crown Court: 

''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 to shred a crocodile tear.''

Judge also commented on what Harry had put Alice through: 

''You were harassing her, you were stalking here, you were destroying her.''

It was later revealed that Harry had quite the history of harassing ex girlfriends but the police didn't have this information at the time to warn Alice. Because of Harry's role as a soldier and the way he presented himself at times (during his police interview, he was well spoken and well mannered) this may have been mistaken for an all round individual and not the crazed lunatic that he actually was. 

It's another horrible story where a beautiful girl with everything to live for, has had her life taken and as for Harry, if he'd have gotten professional help years ago there may have been some hope for him but he's not a concern of mine, not after what he did to Alice and what he put others through. Harry Dhillon is a monster who should stay locked up behind bars, I wouldn't trust him or listen to anything that comes out of his mouth. I could imagine him in years to come, pretending to be a changed character in an attempt to be released, I hope people authorities will be able to see through it. 

(Alice's parents. Picture credit: Daily Mail)

Alice is so fondly remembered and her story is all too common which is heartbreaking. I wish I could say times have changed and things have improved but we still have a long way to go. It's a difficult situation, all of these master-manipulators are always charming in the early stages of relationships and it's not until you're closer to them that you find out the truth, sometimes people don't find out the truth about someone until it's too late. 

Thinking of Alice, her family and all victims of domestic violence and stalking. 

RIP Alice. 

Further Reading & Sources: 

Thank you for taking the time to read this harrowing post, I really do appreciate it and hope that you will join me on my next post as well as my Socials

Stay safe out there x 

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