Tyne & Wear

Alice Ruggles murder accused denies stalking her

Alice Ruggles Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Alice Ruggles grew up in Leicestershire but stayed in Newcastle after studying at Northumbria University

A soldier accused of breaking into his ex-girlfriend's flat and cutting her throat from ear to ear has admitted he was obsessive but denied stalking her.

Lance Corporal Trimaan "Harry" Dhillon denies murdering Alice Ruggles in the bathroom of her Gateshead flat last October.

The Edinburgh-based signaller told Newcastle Crown Court he loved the 24-year-old.

Prosecutors said he made Ms Ruggles' life miserable before he killed her.

'Hung around house'

The court has previously heard Ms Ruggles ended the relationship after discovering Mr Dhillon was contacting other women on dating sites.

Mr Dhillon told jurors: "We used to share the craziest sense of humour together and I knew everything about her."

"That's not because I stalked her, that's because I used to care and listen every time," he said.

Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, listed the numerous attempts Mr Dhillon had made to contact his ex-girlfriend in the weeks before she died, which included making three 240-mile round trips from his barracks to Tyneside "to hang around her house at night".

'Plagued last weeks'

Mr Dhillon admitted it was "not a nice thing to do" and agreed it was obsessive behaviour.

Mr Wright asked Mr Dhillon if he was doing the sort of things a "stalker might do?"

The 26-year-old defendant replied: "I never at any point considered myself to be stalking her."

Mr Wright said: "You plagued the last few weeks of this poor girl's life and made it miserable."

Mr Dhillon replied: "I'm not going to say my actions were right.

"The intention was not there."

Mr Dhillon claims Ms Ruggles died when she lunged at him with a carving knife and the weapon ended up in her neck when he blocked her.

The trial continues.

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