Nicola Bulley: ‘Nothing’ in medical records to suggest mother-of-two was suicidal, inquest hears | UK News
There was “nothing” in Nicola Bulley’s medical records to suggest she was suicidal, her former GP has told an inquest into her death.
Dr Rebecca Gray told the hearing at County Hall, Preston, that Ms Bulley had spoken to her about feeling a “low mood and anxiety” since 2018, later speaking of headaches, fatigue and lack of sleep.
But there was “nothing on the notes or records from 2012 where there’s been any mention of her feeling suicidal or of self-harm”, Dr Gray added.
Ms Bulley was sent to A&E on 11 January due to an injury to her head, Dr Gray said.
The mother-of-two attended a walk-in centre after a fall complaining of increased drowsiness and vomiting and was sent to A&E, where a CT scan came back normal, the inquest heard.
A mental health clinician said Ms Bulley did not appear depressed despite concerns over her increased drinking.
Theresa Lewis Leevy told the inquest she attended Ms Bulley’s house on 10 January along with a police officer and paramedic following concerns about her welfare.
Ms Bulley appeared intoxicated on her bed and spoke of having lost weight.
However, when asked if she appeared depressed, Ms Leevy said: “No, no, not that I could ascertain at the time.”
Ms Bulley’s sister cried as she spoke during the inquest.
“Nikki was my big sister…very much a planner,” Louise Cunningham said
“She started her career again, a busy mum, as most people are, juggling a career and family life. She always had things under her control.”
Ms Cunningham said her sister had spoken to her about having problems sleeping.
Asked if she spoke about menopausal symptoms with her, Ms Cunningham said: “She discussed having some symptoms with the HRT, it was back in the summer (of 2022).
“She was having headaches, she couldn’t get the balance exactly right, she mentioned having struggles sleeping.
“She was taking lavender spray, herbal tea, anything that would relax her before bed.”
‘High risk’ missing person
Ms Bulley vanished while walking her dog after she had dropped her two daughters off at school in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire, on the morning of 27 January.
The 45-year-old mortgage adviser from Inskip was immediately deemed a “high risk” missing person and her disappearance sparked an intensive search operation before her body was eventually found more than three weeks later in the River Wyre.
No evidence Bulley harmed before she drowned
On Tuesday, the inquest heard there was no evidence Ms Bulley was harmed before she drowned in the River Wyre.
Dr Alison Armour, a Home Office pathologist, said watery fluid and fragments of dirt found inside her body were “typical features we see in cases of drowning”.
Ms Bulley was alive when she fell into the water and had not been drinking before her death, she added.
An expert said the temperature of the River Wyre was around 3-5C and it would have taken “one or two breaths” of water to kill Ms Bulley.
“For somebody of Nicola’s size, it would have taken one or two breaths in of water to be a lethal dose,” Professor Michael Tipton said.
Another cold water expert, Dr Patrick Morgan, said Ms Bulley may have only been able to hold her breath for “one or two seconds at best” in the river.
Dr James Adeley, senior coroner for Lancashire, asked the Home Office pathologist: “Is there any evidence of third-party involvement playing any part in her death?”
Dr Armour replied: “No, there was not.”
Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org in the UK.