Dhillon, described in court as obsessive, controlling and manipulative, denied murdering Ruggles in October last year.
“From an early stage the defendant was abusive, controlling and manipulative. Those who knew Alice, knew her as a lively fun-loving girl whose personality changed in a months before her death as a consequence of her relationship with Harry Dhillon. She was withdrawn, isolated, deeply troubled by his behaviour after she ended their relationship,” prosecutor Richard Wright told the jury.
Dhillon is accused of using his skills as a signaller with 2 Scots, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, to hack the 24- year-old victim’s emails, phone messages and social media.
She was found dead in a pool of blood by her flatmate, Maxine, just days after she had told a police officer that she did not want Dhillon to be arrested for harassment.
“Maxine had seen the obsessive and manipulative manner in which Dhillon had harassed and stalked Alice before her death. She had seen first-hand how Alice’s happy, bubbly demeanour had changed over time,” Wright said.
Ruggles had contacted Northumbria Police after she broke up with Dhillon as she was concerned about his behaviour when he travelled from his Scotland barracks, got into her back yard and knocked on her bedroom window late at night.
Dhillon was ordered by his commanding officer to stay away from Alice but he posted her a parcel containing photos and a letter.
Wright told the court: “Sadly, the dilemma this young girl was in is obvious. She was scared and worried about the behaviour of the man she had plainly loved and cared for. Generously, she told the officer she did not want him to be arrested. She could not have known she would pay for that decision with her life just five days later.”
According to the prosecution, Dhillon drove to Ruggles’ home on October 10, 2016 and waited for her after he broke in through her bedroom window and took a knife from the kitchen.
There was a violent struggle which was heard by a neighbour upstairs and Dhillon then allegedly drew the blade across Ruggles’ neck six times. He slit his throat from ear to ear, the court was told.
His victim also suffered a wound to the nose and her hand along with chest injuries. The trial is ongoing and is expected to last a few days.