Restraining order against soldier accused of killing woman

Lance Corporal Trimaan Dhillon, also known as Harry, has appeared at Newcastle Crown Court. Picture: North News & Pictures Ltd
Lance Corporal Trimaan Dhillon, also known as Harry, has appeared at Newcastle Crown Court. Picture: North News & Pictures Ltd
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A soldier accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend before killing her was the subject of a restraining order by a former partner after he spat in her face on the street.

Lance Corporal Trimaan Dhillon is accused of breaking into Alice Ruggles’s ground-floor flat, cutting her throat and leaving her in the blood-soaked bathroom. He is said to have thought she was about to start seeing another man.

Dhillon, 26, who is also known as Harry, served with the Royal Regiment of Scotland and lived at Glencorse Barracks in Penicuik.

He denies murdering Ms Ruggles, 24, a Northumbria University graduate, who was originally from Leicestershire and worked for Sky in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Prosecutor Richard Wright QC told the jury that after a previous relationship with Eniko Nemeth had ended, Dhillon accosted her in the street in Faversham, Kent.

“He confronted her and during the confrontation he demanded to know why she had ended the relationship,” he said. “She warned him she would call the police but he continued to block her path, he appeared worked up and tense.

“She was joined by a male friend and he [Dhillon] said to them, ‘Is this who you are sleeping with? I cannot believe you would leave me for this. Why did you take my girlfriend away?’”

Read more: Woman murdered by ex-boyfriend days after saying no to his arrest, court told

Playing the jury CCTV footage of the incident, Mr Wright said Dhillon eventually ran away after calling Ms Nemeth a bitch and spitting in her face.

He was charged with common assault but on the day of the trial the case was discontinued after he accepted a restraining order for a year.

The jury was also told Dhillon had been sleeping with two other women while he had been seeing Ms Ruggles.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Ms Ruggles had previously told Northumbria Police she felt terrified by Dhillon. The jury heard earlier that he had paid late-night visits to her home, leaving chocolates and flowers for her, and later hacked into her social media accounts. However, she chose not to have him arrested.

On Tuesday, the court also heard that Dhillon had been “obsessively” sending messages to Ms Ruggles.

They included threats to cut his own arms off, as well as to write a letter in blood to her.

He had already been issued with a notice by police warning him not to contact her.

Dhillon is accused of travelling from his barracks near Edinburgh and waiting for Ms Ruggles to come home to her flat in Bensham, Gateshead.

On 12 October last year, he broke in through her bedroom window and there was a violent struggle moving through the flat which an upstairs neighbour heard, Mr Wright said.

Dhillon drew the blade across Ms Ruggles’s neck six times in the attack, the court heard. His victim also suffered a wound to the nose and her hand, as well as chest injuries as if she had been knelt on, Mr Wright said.

The murder weapon has not been found, but a knife was missing from the kitchen.

The trial continues.