Revenge porn threats should be made illegal review suggests after Alice Ruggles

Revenge porn threats should be made illegal after the murder of Alice Ruggles, a domestic homicide review has recommended.Ms Ruggles, 24, was killed by her jealous ex-partner Trimaan Dhillon in October 2016 after he had previously threatened to release intimate photos of her when she called off their relationship.Dhillon, a Lance Corporal at the time who trained with the Special Reconnaissance Service, was jailed for life following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court in April 2017.Revenge porn – which is the sharing of private, sexual photos with the purpose of causing embarrassment – became an offence in 2015 and those found guilty face a prison sentence of up to two years.According to the UK’s Revenge Porn Helpline, there has been a huge year-on-year increase in reported incidents, with the hotline receiving just over 500 reports in 2015 and more than 1000 in 2017. Alice's parents, Sue and Clive Ruggles, believe their daughter's death was preventable Trimaan Dhillon, 26, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 22 years for murdering his ex-girlfriend Alice Ruggles after he stalked her and then cut her throatCredit:Northumbria Police/PA Ms Ruggles had contacted Northumbria Police about Dhillon’s stalking in the days before he killed her. A Northumbria Police officer contacted his barracks in Edinburgh and spoke to a superior, but not Military Police or Police Scotland, and Dhillon was then told to stop contacting her or face arrest.But he ignored the warning from within the regiment, continued to contact her and eventually drove 120 miles to Tyneside to murder the bubbly and popular Sky employee.In the review, her parents Sue and Clive Ruggles said: “We believe that her death was preventable.”We find it difficult to comprehend that, although Alice described in her first phone call to the police that she was being stalked and provided ample evidence, the police and the army were unable to support and protect her.”Ms Ruggles’s sister Emma, herself a serving soldier, said she was “frustrated” by the Army’s response to the murder.She has had no contact from Dhillon’s unit, no response to questions she posed to the Royal Military Police nor a sense that lessons had been learned.The soldier had a history of offending against ex-partners and Emma could not believe the Army was unaware as he was serving at the time. Trimaan Dhillon She said: “Similar situations need to be taken far more seriously in the future by both the police and the Army. Alice’s parents, Sue and Clive Ruggles, believe their daughter’s death was preventableCredit:Geoff Pugh Now Ms Ruggle’s local authority, Gateshead Council, have published 20 recommendations in a domestic homicide review for the Home Office and the Ministry of Defence to act upon, including criminalising threats to release intimate pictures.Mr Ruggle’s family also said that the Army could have done more to protect her from her controlling ex-partner. “Failure to do so would show a blatant lack of regard for my sister, the nightmare she lived in her last few months and the sustained, painful, violent last few minutes of her life.”In a second call to Northumbria Police, as Dhillon’s stalking continued, a call handler asked Ms Ruggles if she wanted him to be arrested.The review found the police should have made the decision, and it should not have been left to the victim, who declined.Northumbria Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Bacon said changes have been made nationally regarding the response to stalking and harassment in the light of this horrific case.She said: “With the help of Alice’s family we are now leading the way in training officers in the best way to deal with these types of offences, with their input vital in developing a video which is now also used by other forces and partners.”Commenting on the case, a Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “Our thoughts remain with Alice’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”We are committed to tacking domestic abuse and last year launched a strategy to help prevent domestic abuse in all its forms.”This includes prevention of abuse in the home and providing support to the families of service personnel who may be affected.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more