The heartbreaking story of a stalking victim murdered by her boyfriend has formed the basis of an award-winning podcast.

University of Sunderland graduate Emma Casson had interviewed Alice Ruggles only a year before she was killed.

So moved by the tragedy, Emma, 25, a graduate in Advanced Radio Production and Management, felt she needed to warn others about the dangers of stalking.

Now, to mark Stalking Awareness Week, Emma has told how she met and interviewed the family and friends of Alice in the months following her death.

Emma, from Wallsend, said: “After what happened to Alice, all I could think was that this could have been me, or one of my friends.

“I want more people to be aware of what stalking is and the consequences it can have.”

Emma’s documentary podcast, ‘Alice’s Story’ has now been received a Silver Award from the Charles Parker Prize. The prize is awarded each year for the Best Student Radio Feature and is open to any student studying radio production at Further or Higher Education establishments throughout the UK.

Lance Corporal Trimaan “Harry” Dhillon is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of 24-year-old Alice at her Gateshead flat in October 2016.

Dhillon had driven 120 miles from his barracks near Edinburgh to confront Miss Ruggles before murdering her. A jury at Newcastle Crown Court convicted him of murder after they took less than two hours to dismiss his story that she had accidentally stabbed herself.

A year before her death, Alice, who had been working for Sky in Newcastle, was interviewed by Emma for a project about moving from university into working life. “It was funny,” recalls Emma. “I turned up to interview her and we were both wearing the exact same outfit. I liked her straight away, she was a lovely girl and we were around the same age.”

After hearing about the murder – and the subsequent campaign of stalking which Dhillon had inflicted on Alice – Emma felt she needed to do something. “I saw that Alice’s family had set up a trust,” said Emma. “So I arranged to interview them as well as Maxine McGill, who had been Alice’s flatmate.”

The interviews form the basis of the Alice’s Story podcast in which listeners hear first-hand about the campaign of stalking which ultimately led to Alice’s death.

Emma, currently working freelance making documentary podcasts, said: “Alice’s family are such strong and dignified people and it’s really important to them to get the message out there.

“A lot of young people don’t realise just how easy it can be to track someone online. It’s incredible the amount someone can find out about you just through social media accounts.”

Emma has also set up a website which offers advice and guidance around the issue of stalking.

This week is National Stalking Awareness Week with efforts being made across the UK to raise the profile of the problem.

According to the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, 73 per cent of stalking victims experience 100 incidents before reporting any to the police.

For more information about National Stalking Awareness Week visit the Alice Ruggles Trust website.

To listen to the podcast, go to