Harborough family’s delight at anti-stalking bill

Alice Ruggles
Alice Ruggles

The mother of murdered Harborough graduate Alice Ruggles this week spoke of her “delight” at the success of a new Stalking Protection Bill.

The bill has passed successfully through the House of Commons with support from all parties, and must now be examined and discussed by the House of Lords.

“We are delighted that the bill has passed its third reading (in the Commons) and pleased with the cross-party support,” said Alice’s mother Sue Mills on Wednesday.

“We are just about to catch a train to London to discuss the passage of the Bill through the House of Lords with Baroness Bertin.”

Alice Ruggles, whose family home is in Tur Langton, was just 24 when she was murdered at her flat in Gateshead by her ex-boyfriend Trimaan “Harry” Dhillon, following a relentless campaign of stalking by him.

Alice reported the stalking to police, but they failed to intervene sufficiently to stop it.

Alice’s family subsequently started The Alice Ruggles Trust, with the mission to “help prevent what happened to Alice happening to others”.

The Trust’s website says: “Stalking is a seriously distressing and potentially life-threatening crime.

“This needs to be recognised by everyone. Stalking behaviour must result in immediate action both to protect the victim and to deal effectively with the perpetrator.”

The Trust has campaigned hard for a new anti-stalking law.

The Stalking Protection Bill aims to introduce measures called Stalking Protection Orders, to protect victims when they report a stalking crime to the police, without putting the onus on the victim to apply for them.

Crucially, breaching such an order would be a serious criminal offence that should result in immediate action by the police.

Neil O’Brien, MP for Harborough, has backed the Bill and spoken about it in Parliament.

He said, “I spoke in strong support of this bill on behalf of all victims of stalking, particularly Alice Ruggles.

“This bill will strengthen the protections available to victims, and hopefully ensure we don’t have another life lost to the horrible crime of stalking. I’d like to pay tribute to Alice’s family for all they have done on this.

“Through the Alison Ruggles Trust they have campaigned incredibly hard on this important issue, and this is reflected in the new Bill that I support in the strongest possible terms.”