Monday 27 January 2020

'He was a very nice man..brilliant' - grandparents of Thomas Ruttle's sons pays tribute after inquest

Julia Holmes (63) and her partner Thomas Ruttle (56)
Julia Holmes (63) and her partner Thomas Ruttle (56)

David Raleigh

The parents of Thomas Ruttle's former partner have described the details of his death and that of con woman Julia Holmes as "horrific".

Ted and Pauline Knight - grandparents of Thomas Ruttle's sons and parents of Thomas Ruttle's ex partner Lian Knight - opened up outside Newcastle West coroners court.

Medical evidence from a pathological report into the couple's deaths could not confirm how they died, however Coroner Antoinette Simon, said she accepted all of the evidence pointed to a "suicide pact".

Ted Knight described the events as "horrific" and went on to describe Holmes as a "vile, vile person."

Pauline Knight described Mr Ruttle, who had worked for her husband for many years, as "a gentleman".

"He was a very nice man. A great carpenter, great with his hands...brilliant," she said.

Ted Knight said his former employee had been "a wonderful man".

"He was a quiet unassuming man," he added.

"We are grandparents to his two boys. It was a terrible shock but there's nothing we can do about it," he said.

Mr Knight said today's verdicts meant some form of closure for the family, especially for Mr Ruttle's two sons, who he said had "went back into themselves".

"At least now they understand things a little bit better than they did, I think."

"I think they (have been) in shock. Today I think, clarified a lot of stuff for them."

"They (had) went back into themselves, and they have been very quiet about it."

Mr Knight said, the last time he saw Mr Ruttle, "he was in great form".

"He was a lovely guy to be with, a very quiet man, unassuming, no problems...A great man."

Mr Knight disagreed with any suggestion that Mr Ruttle was a gullible man who was easily taken in by Holmes.

"No. He was his own man. He did his own thing, and he was a lovely chap."

He said he never met Julia Holmes, "thanks be to goodness".

His wife, Pauline added: "And we never wanted to either."

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