Saturday 17 March 2018

Funeral finalised for farmer found dead with convicted fraudster Julia Holmes

Julia Holmes and her partner Tom Ruttle
Julia Holmes and her partner Tom Ruttle

David Raleigh

Funeral arrangements have been finalised for a farmer caught in the web of a convicted fraudster after both he and the woman were found dead in his house on May 18th.

Father of two, Thomas Ruttle, will be buried next Wednesday following a 2pm service at St Mary's Church of Ireland, Askeaton.

His body is to laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery.

Read more here: New tests on honey ​sold by couple in suicide pact 

However, the body of his partner Julia McKitterick, who was last using two aliases -- Julia Holmes and Croen Ruttle -- is to be buried in a "pauper's grave" as her next of kin have declined to claim her body. Limerick County Council will be responsible for her burial.

The bodies of Mr Ruttle, 56, and Ms McKitterick, 63, were discovered by a three-man gang in a decomposing state when the burglars broke into Mr Ruttle's farmhouse at Boolaglass, Askeaton.

Suicide letters were found in the house however post mortems on both bodies could not determine how the pair died.

Read more here: Tragic death couple sold fake artisan honey at Wexford food show 

Gardai -- who suspect Mr Ruttle and Ms McKitterick died from a poisoning suicide pact -- are awaiting toxicology tests taken from tissue samples from the bodies to help determine a cause of death.

It's believed Mr Ruttle had discovered Ms McKitterick had swindled local workers out of thousands of euro after she hired them to renovate the Ruttle farmhouse. It's understood she had then planned to sell off the home and flee the country.

The Co Down grandmother was previously convicted of fraud in America and served part a 27-month jail sentence in Texas.

She was also wanted by police in Northern Ireland and had left a trail of other alleged fraud offences in Australia.

Her son has told some media that he will not claim her body for burial. It's understood Ms Holmes abandoned her son when he was six months old. He has describing his mother's death as "a pathetic end to a wicked and selfish life".

If her body is not claimed for burial, West Limerick Coroner, Brendan Nix, will ask Limerick City and County Council to arrange a pauper’s funeral.

Read more here: Victims' web hunt for con woman Julia Holmes 'was closing in fast before death' 

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