Nicola Bulley was 'alive when entering water' and died from drowning, inquest hears
| Last updated
Nicola Bulley died as a result of drowning and was alive when she fell into the water, an inquest has heard.
The inquest into Ms Bulley’s death began today (26 June) at County Hall in Preston.
Giving evidence, Home Office pathologist Dr Alison Armour 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 entered the water and that there was ‘no evidence’ she was harmed.
Ms Bulley disappeared after dropping off her two daughters - aged six and nine - at school on 27 January, having taken her dog for a walk by the River Wyre in Lancashire.
Tragically, her body was found weeks later in the river on 19 February.
In a statement at the time, her heartbroken family said they will 'never be able to comprehend what Nikki had gone through in her last moments', adding: “That will never leave us."
The statement went on: “We will never forget Nikki, how could we, she was the centre of our world, she was the one who made our lives so special and nothing will cast a shadow over that.
“Our girls will get the support they need from the people who love them the most.”
The inquest into her death is expected to last two days.
Dr James Adeley, senior coroner for Lancashire, told members of her family, who were in court: “I’m sorry that you are attending this court under these circumstances. You have my deepest condolences and I would be grateful if you would pass that onto the children who are not in court for obvious reasons.”
He was told to refer to Ms Bulley as ‘Nikki’ during proceedings.
The coroner said 'additional security provisions' was in place during the hearing, due to the social media interest in the case.
Ms Bulley's family will be represented at the inquest by solicitor Terry Wilcox, of Hudgell Solicitors, and Sophie Cartwright KC, of Deans Court Chambers.
A spokesperson for the firm said: "Her family are hopeful, and confident, that the inquest process will establish the true facts, a clear timeline of what happened, and how Nicola died.
"Her family will not be making any comment until all evidence has been heard, and until the Coroner has delivered his conclusion."
Her partner Paul Ansell and sister Louise Cunningham are both listed as witnesses, and are due to give evidence on Tuesday.
Featured Image Credit: Police Handout
Topics: UK News