UK - Nicola Bulley, St Michaels on Wyre (Lancashire), Jan 27, 2023 *MEDIA, MAPS, & TIMELINES - NO DISCUSSION*


Day 2 of inquest.

Bulley first presented with low mood and anxiety in 2018

Nicola Bulley first presented to her doctor with low mood and anxiety in December 2018, Holly Evans reports.
Ms Bulley’s GP, Dr Rebecca Gray, said: “Two months later in February 2019, she commenced on propranolol which is a beta-blocker.”

She added: “It’s used in anxiety and predominantly issues when there might be physical issues of anxiety like tremors. It was 40mg, one to two times a day.”


Day 2 of inquest.

Bulley presented with menopause symptoms in 2021

Ms Bulley also began presenting with menopause symptoms in July 2021 and continued to present with anxiety and fatigue, Holly Evans reports.

The inquest heard she also became "emotional" during one meeting with the nurse practitioner regarding her menopause treatment.

She was also sent to A&E on January 11 due to an injury to her head after attending a walk-in centre after a fall, complaining of increased drowsiness and vomiting.
She was sent to A&E where a CT scan came back normal, the inquest heard.


Day 2 of inquest.

Nicola Bulley’s tearful husband has revealed a text he sent to his wife on the day she went missing.

Giving evidence into her death, Paul Ansell said he believed she went to put a harness on her dog shortly before falling into the River Wyre.

Ms Bulley’s mobile phone was still connected to a work Teams call when it was found on a bench overlooking the water.

Mr Anselll said: “She was still listening to that meeting, so I think she must have maybe put the phone on the bench and gone to put the harness back on Willow.”

Mr Ansell said he sent his wife saying, “Have you got lost?” after she spent longer-than-usual out on her walk.

Earlier Mr Ansell said he raised concerns about her alcohol use days before she went missing, a mental health clinician has said.


Day 2 of inquest.

‘She was my big sister'

Nicola Bulley’s sister told the inquest how her sibling was “very much a planner” who managed to successfully juggle work and family life, Holly Evans reports.

Becoming tearful, Ms Bulley’s sister Louise Cunningham said: “She was my big sister. She was very much a planner. I mean she’d started her career again, she was a busy mum juggling a career and family life. She always had things under control.

She told the court that Ms Bulley would colour code everything in her calendar and had resat her exams to continue her career.

Describing her springer spaniel Willow as a "third child", Ms Cunningham said: "There’s no way Nikki would leave Willow alone by choice."

She said her sister spoke 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. She was having headaches, she couldn’t get the balance right, she mentioned having struggles sleeping. She was taking lavender spray, herbal tea, anything that would relax her before bed.


27 June - Live Blog from inquest, day 2: AM


Day two due to begin​

Good morning and welcome to our updates. Day two is due to begin and 10am and among those due to give evidence is Nicola's partner Paul Ansell.


What's expected today​

The hearing was originally scheduled to last for two days and that timeline remains in place. Today's proceedings are due to being at 10 and the inquest is expected to hear first from a mental health expert and then from Nicola's GP. Her sister Louise Cunningham is also expected to speak, with Nicola's partner Paul Ansell the final witness.

We then expect coroner Dr James Adeley to spend around two hours considering all the evidence before delivering his conclusion. That may come as a short form phrase or a longer narrative one which offers more detail and context. Lancashire Constabulary is expected to release a statement upon the completion of the inquest.


Activity in the council chamber​

Yesterday's proceedings started a fair while later than the planned 10am start - that's fairly standard for complex inquests such as this where plenty is happening behind the scenes. Today seems to be more punctual however with witnesses of and members of the public now being brought into the council chamber which is serving as the coroner's court today


Family members arriving in court​

Nicola's family members are now assembling in the court room and proceedings should start imminently.


Nicola's parents to give evidence​

We are now told that Nicola's parents - Dot and Ernest Bulley - are going to speak during today's proceedings in relation to the evening before she went missing. They had not previously expected to do so but the family's solicitor said "they were at the house that night and would like to give evidence"


No history of suicidal feelings​

Dr Rebecca Gray has been asked to step up to give evidence first - she works at Great Eccleston Health Centre and was Nicola's GP. She explained that Nicola had previously spoke about anxiety and been prescribed anti-depressants and beta-blockers.

In January 2022 Nikki presented with fatigue and said she felt more anxious. She said she had started a new job and was finding it particularly stressful. The GP ordered some blood tests which were all normal. Dr Gray said there is no mention in the records of Nikki reporting any suicidal feelings or self-harm.

In February 2022, Nicola spoke struggling with sleep as a result of work stresses. of Dr Gray said: “She described how her brain felt like it was overloaded” and she had tried taking Nytol, herbal tea and a sleep spray.

On January 11, 2023, Nikki went to the walk-in centre at Fleetwood and said she had fallen and banged her head the previous night and was feeling drowsy and had been sick. She was sent to A&E at Blackpool Victoria Infirmary where a head CT scan found no internal injury.


Security measures​

Security measures remain high around County Hall in Preston where the inquest is taking place


Mental health doctor​

Teresa Lewis Leevy is next to speak. She is a mental health clinician who was involved with the Home Treatment Team and the Synergy vehicle which is the mental health emergency response vehicle.

Ms Leevy explained that on January 10, 2023, just two weeks before Nicola went missing, her sister Louise Cunningham called the mental health team and “asked for some assistance with her sister”. The family was concerned with her increased alcohol use and the impression she “didn’t want to be here”. The team arrived at Nicola’s home at 7.30pm with police and a paramedic also there.

According to Ms Leevy, Nicola was “appropriately dressed” and “appeared to be intoxicated”. Nicola told her she had lost weight as a result of her increased alcohol use. The conversation with Ms Leevy was “quite brief” and Nikki then said she was tired and wanted to go to bed.

Ms Leevy said that although Nicola was intoxicated she wasn’t slurring her words but she was repetitive in saying “she wasn’t sure how this had happened but wasn’t able to quantify that with an explanation”. Nicola was advised to go and see the GP the following day but she said she couldn’t as she was sorting her mortgage out. However, when Ms Leevy spoke to Nicola’s partner Paul he said there “wasn’t an issue with the mortgage and it wasn’t something that was being done the following day”.

When asked if Nicola appeared depressed, Ms Leevy said: “No, no, not that I could ascertain at the time.”


Family evidence begins​

The inquest has now moved onto the stage where family members are being invted to give evidence. First to speak is Nicola's sister Louise Cunningham who breaks down in tears after being asked what type of person she was.

After composing herself, she said Nicola was “very much a planner” and that she was “just amazing”. “Every Christmas mum and dad would buy her a Springer Spaniel calender and every January Nikki would transfer everything onto the new one with a colour-coded system."

She continued “Before having the girls she was a mortgage advisor… after the kids she re-sat her exams. She was just getting back into a routine of work again and she was absolutely brilliant.”

According to Louise, Nicola had a “special bond with Willow”. She said: “He was like her third child. She would always find time in her day to take Willow for a walk.”


"There is no way Nikki would leave Willow unattended"​

Asked about Nicola's mental health, Louise said: "Nikki did have a bit of a blip over the Christmas period [with her HRT] however come January she had started to get back to her normal self, she was back on the HRT and back to work and back to normal Nikki. Her drinking did increase."

However, she said her sister "never, ever confided" in her about suicidal thought or anything related.

Asked by the coroner whether she leave the dog by the field if she ever did consider ending her life, Louise replied: "Absolutely not. There is no way Nikki would leave Willow unattended.”

Discussing January 10 when an ambulance was called, Louise said: “It was a bit of a wake-up call for her I think. She was fuming with me for calling the ambulance, she thought I had overreacted and maybe I did but she is my sister and I was concerned. She started to get back to normal after that.”

Louise last saw Nicola on Friday January 13, 2023, having stayed with her sister for a few days after the incident on January 10.


Future plans made on the morning Nicola disappeared​

Louise told the coroner that the two sisters had childhood nicknames for each other. Nicola was Clacker and Louise was Tosh. On the morning Nicola disappeared, Louise text her sister on WhatsApp and they were talking about booking a spa day. Louise booked the trip that morning, text her at 8.52am and then signed off the text ‘Tosher’.

Louise began crying as she said: “Literally I was saying it was booked but she never picked up the message.” The sisters were due to go to Ribby Hall for a spa day on March 18 using a voucher Nicola’s daughters had bought her for Mother’s Day in 2022.

Sophie Cartwright KC, representing the family, said: “Would it be fair to say you were incredibly close sisters?” to which Louise said “yes”. The barrister continued: “Not just incredibly close but you come from a very loving family. You were brought up down south but mum and dad moved north to be near their girls. We talked about hobbies but is it fair to say Nikki’s hobby was family?” Louise responded: “Yes.”

Louise went on to explain she is wearing Nicola's dress today in the inquest. Their parents had given it to Nicola for Christmas but she didn’t like it so gave it to Louise.

According to Louise, Nicola worked for Love Homes in Garstand and had a "really successful work meeting" the day before she disappeared. She was "excited about her career", Louise added.


Nicola's partner Paul Ansell giving evidence​

Next up to speak is Paul Ansell - Nicola's partner. Asked to confirm that he was Nicola's partner, he replies "I am", making a distinction between past and present tenses.

He is very softly spoken and is sat with his arms crossed on the table in front of him. After the mental health “blip”, Nicola was “back to her usual self and everything was on the up”, he said.
She was getting back into her work, she was excited, it was going really well. She had worked so hard. She was happy about earning her own money and getting that independence again.
The night before she went missing she was “full of beans”, he added. Paul reveals he works from home as an engineer for a US company and had been working until 1am the night before Nicola disappeared.

The coroner asked about the morning she went missing: “It was just a normal morning?” and he replies “yes”. “She would always do two loops of that field before heading back to the bench and picking the car up from school.”


Dog harness​

Attention has now turned to the issue of the harness which was removed from Willow and found by the bench where Nicola's phone was. This has been the subject of speculation and conspiracy theories.

Asked why it would be removed, Paul said: "We would always take the harness off before going through the gate. Because she’s a springer she’s very erratic and into the bushes so anything that is on her that could get caught we used to take it off."

Asked why the harness was in the grass and the phone on bench, he replied: "When she got back to the bench she is still listening to a conference call. She must have put the phone on the bench and then gone to put the harness back on Willow.”


"Have you got lost"​

At 10.30am, roughly an hour after Nicola is believed to have entered the water Paul sent her a text asking “have you got lost?” At 10.50am their children’s school called him to say her phone and Willow had been found.

The coroner also references Ring doorbell footage which shows Paul leaving the house at around this time.

Sophie Cartwright KC asks Paul to explain more about the “successful meeting” Nikki had with Love Homes in Garstang the day before she had gone missing. She had agreed to be their sole mortgage advisor, he explained. “She came home in amazing spirits.”

Nicola worked for herself as a mortgage advisor but had built up relationships with various companies such as Love Homes, Concept Living - a new-build construction company, and Exclusively Mortgages. Paul reveals Nicola had a meeting planned at 11am the day she disappeared. She then had “quite a lot of paperwork to get ready” for another meeting that afternoon. She would always come home from her morning walk at 10/10.15, Paul said. He added: “When it got to 10.30am I started to feel a bit concerned.”


"Nikki was an incredible mum, she was an amazing mum”​

The inquest has broken for a brief comfort break after Paul began to cry while giving evidence. He was comforted by the coroner's officer before a decision was made for a brief pause.

Moments earlier, Paul had said: "Nikki was an incredible mum, she was an amazing mum”. The family's barrister, reading from his statement, said that their daughters "were her absolute world". She continued: "She adored nothing more than a walk with Willow in the countryside or a family walk in the hills followed by a nice meal out."


Inquest resumes​

We are back under way after the brief pause and Paul has now completed his evidence. He explained that Nicola had she had stopped drinking when she disappeared and was back taking her HRT medication.

Paul said in his statement: “She was grateful for every day, she was an amazing mum and partner and this gave her huge security. She focused on the important things and did the right thing by everyone. She was well-respected by all who knew her. Everybody loved her.”


Nicola's parents giving evidence​

Now Nicola's parents Ernest and Dot are now speaking. They are sat side by side next to Louise, Nicola's sister.

Mrs Bulley cries as she recalls the last time she saw her daughter. The night before she went missing Mr and Mrs Bulley had been watching the girls at Nicola’s home while she was in a Zoom meeting.

“Before we went home we went to the front door and gave them all a kiss and a cuddle,” she said. Mr Bulley added “we gave her a hug, as we always do with our children and with our grandchildren.”

Mr Bulley describes giving Nikki a kiss and a hug. As he starts to cry Mrs Bulley adds sadly: “For the last time.”

Mr Bulley said as a little girl Nikki was “always dancing around in her tutu” and as a teenager “she wasn’t any trouble”.

Mr Bulley has to take several pauses as he speaks to compose himself. “She put so much into passing those exams. It wasn’t easy bringing up a family and looking to combine the two together but we knew that she could do it.”


Family ask for "accidental death" conclusion​

The family’s barrister Sophie Cartwright KC is now making submissions to the coroner regarding possible conclusions available to him. Coroners are encouraged, where possible, to use what is known as a short-form conclusion. In varying contexts (as opposed to being options available today) these can be conclusions such as accidental, misadventure, suicide, drug-related death.

Ms Cartwright KC tells the coroner the conclusion he should return is one of accidental death. She argues the phone evidence, post mortem, expert evidence and eye-witness accounts all point to Nicola’s death being an accident.

"“What occurred on the riverbank at probably some time shortly after 9.18am was a tragic accident for Nikki. It is clear from the evidence that at 9.18am Nikki increased the volume on [the Zoom call] and it appears that what happened after that must somehow be linked to the location of the dog harness found on the steep part of the slope.

“There has been much rumour, suspicion and speculation… the family are of the view that that has been allayed by the evidence. The family are comforted by the evidence that Nikki’s death would have been very soon after she entered the water.”

The barrister urges the coroner to find: “At approximately 9.30am Nicola Bulley, on the balance of probabilities, died in the river due to an accidental death.”

She also urges the coroner to consider that the screams heard are not connected to Ncola's death and says “they do not have relevance to how Nikki came by her death".


Evidence concluded​

That brings to an end all the evidence which will be heard at the inquest. The coroner will now spend some time considered a conclusion and plans to return to deliver that at 2.15pm when he will also sum up the evidence.


What we've heard so far​

It's been a particularly emotional day in court today as family members were invited to give their own evidence.


Family and police statements to follow conclusion​

The coroner is due to return to court to deliver his conclusion in around 10 minutes. We are now being told that upon the completion of that, statements will be delivered to the media on behalf of Nicola's family and Lancashire Constabulary.

Detective Chief Superintendent Pauline Stables will speak on behalf of Lancashire Contabulary and solicitor Terry Wilcox will read a statement from Nicola's family.


Courtroom assembling​

The chamber is now filling back up ready for Dr Adeley to deliver his verdict. Before he adjourned to consider his decision, Sophie Cartwright KC implored him on the family's behalf to record a conclusion of accidental death.


Camera crews​

Camera crews are now set up outside County Hall awaiting the police and family statements which will be delivered after the hearing is completed


Dr Adeley back in court​

Dr Adeley, senior coroner for Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen, has returned to court and begun his summing up. He opens by reminding everyone involved that the inquest is not dealing with the police operational response to Nicola's disappearance.


Coroner's summary - timeline​

Dr Adeley is now summing up the evidence which has been heard over the last two days. This includes:
  • Nicola was last seen alive by fellow dog-walker Claire Chesholm at 9.10am
  • At 9.18am she adjusted the volume of her conference call
  • PC Keith Greenhalgh examined Nikki’s Fitbit device- it recorded steps in 15 minute segments. On January 27 she walked 4,548 steps between 8am and 9.30am. Between 9.15am and 9.30am she walked 273 steps. No further steps after 9.30am
  • At 9.22am the FitBit recorded a substantially increased heart rate
  • Penny Fletcher arrived at the bench at 9.33am. Nicola was nowhere to be seen but Willow was found and the dog’s harness was found between the bench and the river
  • Nicola was last seen alive at 9.10am, interacted with her phone at 9.18am and Mrs Fletcher found Willow at 9.33am. This provides a maximum window of time of 15 minutes when Nicola went into the river


Coroner's summary - location​

Contuining to sum up the evidence, Dr Adeley said:
  • The river bank had an “almost vertical drop”
  • At the base a stone wall had been built to prevent further erosion and this provided no footholds or handholds. If you fell here you would certainly enter the water
  • The opposite bank, 20 metres away, was also a difficult site to climb out
  • On January 27 the Environment Agency said the flow over the weir was 0.49 metres. When police did a reconstruction the weir height was almost half this but even at that level it took a body over the weir
  • The flow on the river on the day Nicola died made it “almost impossible” to get out
  • Nicola would have been unable to reach the bottom of the river until she had travelled for “at least 40 metres” downstream
  • Two world leading experts, Dr Paddy Morgan and Professor Mike Tipton, said Nicola would have been overwhelmed by cold water shock after falling into the water
  • The water temperature was 3.6C would have elicited a powerful response in Nicola - not related to body size but the rapid cooling of the skin
  • Nicola's clothing would not have slowed her response to cold water shock

Coroner's summary - impact on Nicola's body​

Dr Adeley said:
  • Adrenalin is released immediately which can cause a person’s heart to stop instantaneously
  • If this doesn’t occur there is an overwhelming urge to gasp. If Nicola’s head was underwater she could have inhaled two litres of water which would have been a lethal dose
  • There was a good chance Nicola's first breath was underwater. Even if was above the water, if she then became submerged, an increased heart rate and blood rate would have used oxygen at a rate where she would have lost consciousness within 48 seconds. However, this was highly optimistic and it would more likely have been 30 seconds with increasingly impaired consciousness
  • Such was the shock of immersion Nicola would have been unable to stand up or float
  • She would have died before reaching the first point in the river where she could have touched the bottom

Coroner's summary - wider circumstances​

Dr Adeley is continuing to sum up the evidence:
  • Nikki had no alcohol in her bloodstream at the time of her death
  • The cause of death was drowning
  • The RNLI’s Float to Live campaign urges people to tilt their head back, relax, try to breathe normally and spread yourself out. Such education may save the lives of other people who are unlucky enough to enter cold water
  • On the possible involvement of third parties: all of the witnesses who were in the area did not note anyone suspicious in the area of the field where Nicola was walking
  • Det Supt Rebecca Smith said CCTV of three of the four entry points to the field shows nobody acting unusually. CCTV from the fourth point only showed one direction but this also showed nobody
  • Police contacted the owners of 700 cars which passed the road and examined dashcam footage. Nothing unusual was spotted
  • Dr Armour said there was no evidence Nicola was assaulted nor that a third-party was involved
  • Although two women heard a scream it was not of a nature which caused concern and was some distance from where Nicola was. At the time they were heard Nicola was probably already dead


Dr Adeley says that the medical cause of death was drowning. He said it likely that Nicola entered the water at 9.22am when her Fitbit recorded a significant spike in her heart rate. He is unable to determine exactly why Nicola entered the water.

Dr Adeley said: "On January 27 at around 9.22am Nicola Jane Bulley fell into the River Wyre and died almost immediately".

He is now addressing each of the possible short form conclusions. These are:

Suicide - there is an absence of any evidence, he says. Excluding a couple of comments over Christmas, treated as throwaway, there is no indication Nicola had any intention of taking her life. It is believed it would also be unusual for suicide as she would not have left Willow who was described as her third child. To leave her car keys in her pocket with her car in the school playground where her children would see it would be cruel so there is no evidence to support this conclusion.

Natural causes - There is no sign of natural causes.

Accidental death - The only remaining conclusion is accidental death and this is what is recorded by Dr Adeley

27 June 2023

Nicola Bulley died after she accidentally fell into cold water and drowned, a Lancashire coroner has concluded.

The mum-of-two’s disappearance while walking her dog in a field near the village of St Michael’s on Wyre in January made international headlines.

The mortgage adviser’s phone, still connected to a work Microsoft Teams call, was found on a bench overlooking the water. Her body was found a mile downstream three weeks after she vanished on January 27.

Preston County Hall today heard from ‘Nikki’s’ GP and sister Louise Cunningham. Both said that while she was struggling with her mental health, she told neither about any suicidal feelings or self-harm.

27 June 2023

Mother-of-two Nicola Bulley drowned after accidentally falling into cold water, an inquest has concluded. Ms Bulley, 45, vanished after dropping off her daughters, six and nine, at school, and taking her usual dog walk along the River Wyre in St Michael’s, Lancashire, on January 27.

Dr James Adeley, senior coroner for Lancashire, concluding the inquest into her death at County Hall, Preston, on Tuesday, expressed his condolences to the family, who were present throughout the hearing. He recorded her death as accidental as she fell into the river and suffered “cold water shock”, ruling out suicide.

Ms Bulley’s mobile phone, still connected to a work Teams call, was found on a bench overlooking the water. Her body was found in the river about a mile from the bench on February 19.

27 June 2023

Footage of a police diver entering the River Wyre at the same location Nicola Bulley is believed to have entered the water has been show at an inquest into her tragic death.

The video formed part of the coroner's investigation into the mother-of-two's disappearance. Nicola, a mortgage advisor who lived in Inskip, was last seen on January 27 while walker her dog Willow.

Her phone, still connected to a Microsoft Teams call, was found on a bench next to the water and a major search operation was launched. Nicola's body was eventually found around a mile further along the water more than three weeks later.

A two-day inquest began at County Hall in Preston today to determine how Nicola died. After a Home Office pathologist explained that water in the stomach and lungs led her to a medical cause of death of drowning, police diver PC Matt Thackray was next to give evidence.


As part of his evidence, he showed a video to the court of him entering the water at the same location. In it, he said: “There is a large vertical slope from the bench and into the water. On the day there was a steady flown downstream.

“The river was 4C, so almost freezing, and if she fell in, the muscles would probably seize, making it difficult to swim properly.” He estimated she would have floated at a “metre a second” downstream.


PC Matthew Thackray explained that the water in the River Wyre was incredibly murky and demonstrated how easily a person can be taken along by the flow of the river and occasionally caught up in "snag hazards" before being released and continuing downstream. He described how there is a man-made river wall, constructed of large square bricks, on the corner of the river close to where Nicola entered the river, which he said he “presumes has been done to prevent the river banking being worn away”.

The coroner asked: “If you were in the water and trying to climb out would it be possible to find a foothold on [the bricks]?” PC Thackery replied: “No not at all… it’s very difficult to get out of the water here.”

There is no evidence Nicola Bulley was harmed before she drowned in the River Wyre, a Home Office pathologist has said.

Dr Alison Armour, giving evidence at an inquest at County Hall in Preston on Monday, said watery fluid and fragments of dirt found inside Ms Bulley's body were "typical features we see in cases of drowning".

She added that Ms Bulley was alive when she fell into the water and had not been drinking before her death.

DC Keith Greenhalgh said that due to analysis of her iPhone and Fitbit watch data, she “very possibly” entered the water at 9.22am.

A heart rate output was still given eight days after she died drowned before it lost power on February 4.

DC Greenhalgh said this possibly "could be a result of the movement of water passing between the device and Nicola’s wrist".

He added: "Testing on inanimate objects provided similar results when there was a movement in the water.”

14 Feb 2023

Lancashire Police has come under further fire from critics who have questioned how it took the force 23 days to find a body in the river after mother-of-two Nicola Bulley went missing.

Reflecting on the discovery, Nazir Afzal, former chief crown prosecutor for northwest England, said public confidence was 'damaged' by what had happened.

He told The Times: 'In many respects, the police have been vindicated. A lot of people online — armchair sleuths — have been suggesting something more nefarious than what happened.


20 Feb 2023

'Such as it is it would be inappropriate of me to discuss in any further detail anything we may know about that body at this time, considering a formal identification of that body has yet to be confirmed.

'I would also like to just say a huge thank you to Lancashire police for their help, support and the open mindedness with which they dealt with us, following our call, spiritualists or mediums are obviously not something the police come across every day and I appreciate the respect given to us both.

'It is also important to mention, I was not asked by the police or Nicola’s family to become involved in this case, but having seen the wild speculation and hurtful commentary that has been ongoing, and having previously assisted in the recovery of Michael Brooks, I decided to use what ever "gift" it is we mediums possess to try and locate Nicola Bulley. I Would however stress again, I can not confirm that body we traced yesterday is that off the lady in question.

On Monday morning, Peter Faulding released a statement explaining why his team did not find Nicola Bulley in the river following the discovery of a boy on Sunday. He explained that the body was not found in the river but the reeds - which the sonar equipment does not penetrate.


He added that his team did search the part of the river where a body was discovered for four hours on the first day of their search for Nicola. Explaining why his equipment would not have found a body, he said the sonar does not penetrate reeds, and only a riverbank and wade search would have made the discovery due to its location - and his team was not tasked with doing this.

Coroner continues summing up the case​

LancsLive has said the coroner has continued to sum up the case

  • The river bank had an “almost vertical drop”
  • At the base a stone wall had been built to prevent further erosion and this provided no footholds or handholds. If you fell here you would certainly enter the water
  • The opposite bank, 20 metres away, was also a difficult site to climb out
  • On January 27 the Environment Agency said the flow over the weir was 0.49 metres. When police did a reconstruction the weir height was almost half this but even at that level it took a body over the weir
  • The flow on the river on the day Nicola died made it “almost impossible” to get out
  • Nicola would have been unable to reach the bottom of the river until she had travelled for “at least 40 metres” downstream
  • Two world leading experts, Dr Paddy Morgan and Professor Mike Tipton, said Nicola would have been overwhelmed by cold water shock after falling into the water
  • The water temperature was 3.6C would have elicited a powerful response in Nicola - not related to body size but the rapid cooling of the skin
  • Nicola's clothing would not have slowed her response to cold water shock

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