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Documentary explores Ruggles murder probe.

Byline: Tim Stickings Reporter

THE murder of university graduate Alice Ruggles will be put under the spotlight in an ITV documentary next week.

Alice, who was 24, had her throat slashed in October last year by her soldier ex-boyfriend Trimaan Dhillon, who had broken into her flat on Rawling Road in Bensham, Gateshead.

Sir Trevor McDonald will host the documentary, titled 'An Hour to Catch a Killer'.

The programme sees Northumbria Police detectives wear HD body cameras in the first hour after the 999 call came in, known in the police as the 'golden hour' because of the huge bearing it has on whether a killer is caught.

Alice's parents, Clive and Sue, said: "We want to share Alice's story because it highlights the dangers of coercive behaviour and stalking.

"Although the ITV documentary is not specifically about stalking we believe that it will help draw attention to some of the warning signs that should trigger alarm bells."

The hour-long programme, which will air at 9pm next Thursday, is the first episode in ITV's new Crime and Punishment series.

It will follow murder squad detectives from the moment of the 999 call, through the first critical hour of the investigation and until Dhillon was charged two days later.

DCI Lisa Theaker, of Northumbria Police, said: "Getting evidence in the golden hour is vital. It's fresh, it's not contaminated and it might not be there very long.

"The priority for me is securing evidence as quickly as possible. Where's my offender? That's a real priority for me because there'll be a wealth of forensic evidence on them. Let's find who the killer is."

Sir Trevor, who meets Alice's family in the documentary, said: "An Hour to Catch a Killer will reveal the expertise of Northumbria Police's homicide team, through unprecedented access to every layer of the investigation.

"The use of body-worn cameras will provide an incredibly intimate insight into the crucial golden hour of a murder inquiry as we follow the team's race against the clock to catch the killer."

Dhillon, a 26-year-old Lance Corporal who had worked for the Royal Guard, killed Northumbria University graduate Alice after driving 120 miles from his Scottish barracks to her flat when he found out she had a new boyfriend.

He was convicted of murder following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court in April. He was jailed for life with a minimum prison term of 22 years.

The Alice Ruggles Trust has been set up to raise awareness of stalking and campaign for improved legal measures to stop it.

"The fact that Alice was murdered after having reported Dhillon to the police raises many questions about how cases of stalking are dealt with," said an article on the Trust website.

Sue completed the Great North Run last month to raise money for Women's Aid, a charity close to Alice's heart.

Later episodes in the weekly Crime and Punishment series will include Gordon Ramsay exploring the world of cocaine, Piers Morgan visiting a maximum-security American prison and Susanna Reid looking into the 2015 murder of Becky Watts.

An Hour to Catch a Killer will reveal the expertise of Northumbria Police's homicide teamSir Trevor McDonald


Alice's ex-boyfriend Trimaan Dhillon was convicted of the murder

The police investigation into the murder of Alice Ruggles is the basis for a new ITV television documentary hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald Iain Buist
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 6, 2017
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