Heartbreaking final picture of Nicola Bulley before mother-of-two set off for river where she drowned

27 June 2023, 19:11 | Updated: 27 June 2023, 19:41

The final photo of Nicola Bulley before the mother-of-two set off for river where she drowned
The final photo of Nicola Bulley before the mother-of-two set off for river where she drowned. Picture: Alamy/Handout

By Kit Heren

This is the heartbreaking final photo of Nicola Bulley before the mother-of-two left home on the day that she died.

Ms Bulley died accidentally and ‘almost immediately’ after falling into the River Wyre, an inquest into her death has concluded.

The final image was captured on a Ring doorbell as she left to take her children to school, before going on the fateful riverside walk.

Recording his verdict, Coroner Dr James Adeley said: "I conclude that Nicola Jane Bulley died an accidental death."

He noted Ms Bulley fell into the River Wyre around 9.22am on Jan 27 and "died almost immediately".

The final picture of Ms Bulley before she died
The final picture of Ms Bulley before she died. Picture: Alamy

It follows final submission's from Sophie Cartwright KC, the lawyer representing Ms Bulley's family, who said that Ms Bulley's death was a "tragic accident" despite the "rumour and suspicion" surrounding her disappearance.

Ms Bulley's family also requested that the 45-year-old's death be recorded as accidental prior to the coroner's verdict.

The mother-of-two's body was found in the River Wyre on February 19 - around a mile from where she vanished while out walking her dog.

Listen and subscribe to Unprecedented: Inside Downing Street on Global Player

Nicola Bulley&squot;s death was a "tragic accident" despite the "rumour and suspicion" surrounding her disappearance, her inquest has heard.
Nicola Bulley's death was a "tragic accident" despite the "rumour and suspicion" surrounding her disappearance, her inquest has heard. Picture: LBC / Alamy

"My view is Nikki arrived at the bench having taken 273 steps after 9:15am," the coroner concluded.

"At 9:22 her Fitbit recorded a significant spike in heart rate which might be consistent with cold water shock.

The coroner concluded there was no indication that Ms Bulley had any intention of taking her own life, adding: "I discount a conclusion of suicide as there is no evidence to support this conclusion."

Read more: ‘Have you got lost?': Nicola Bulley’s partner reveals text he sent on the morning she went missing

Read more: ‘She’s struggling’: Nicola Bulley’s partner’s heartbreaking first words as he learned her dog and phone had been found

He added it would have been “almost impossible to swim against the current” in the section of river where Ms Bulley fell in - a section of river that measured 4.6 metres deep.

The river remained too deep for Ms Bulley to be able to stand for a further 40-metres - a distance the mother-of-two could have taken two to three minutes to reach.

The verdict concludes an inquest which saw evidence submitted by various drowning experts, police divers, members of the public and Ms Bulley's family - including Nicola's partner Paul Ansell.

The verdict concludes an inquest which saw evidence submitted by various drowning experts, police divers, members of the public and Ms Bulley's family - including Nicola's partner Paul Ansell.
The verdict concludes an inquest which saw evidence submitted by various drowning experts, police divers, members of the public and Ms Bulley's family - including Nicola's partner Paul Ansell. Picture: LBC / Alamy

As part of the two-day inquest, evidence was submitted by experts who noted just two breaths of water would have been enough to kill her.

Evidence submitted by Ms Bulley's GP, Dr Rebecca Gray, noted her HRT medication "overloaded her brain".

It follows conversations between Ms Bulley and her GP in which she noted she was “struggling with her sleep” while on the hormone replacement medication and felt it was resulting in “anxiety and low mood”. 

It came as her tearful partner, Paul Ansell, and sister, Louise Cunningham, told the hearing at Preston County Hall of concerns about the 45-year-old mother-of-two's struggle with the menopause and increase in alcohol intake in the month before her death.

The river remained too deep for Ms Bulley to be able to stand for a further 40-metres - a distance the mother-of-two could have taken two to three minutes to reach.
The river remained too deep for Ms Bulley to be able to stand for a further 40-metres - a distance the mother-of-two could have taken two to three minutes to reach. Picture: LBC / Alamy

A widespread search of the river was conducted following her disappearance while out walking her dog in St Michael's on the Wyre, Lancashire, on January 27.

Professor Michael Tipton, an expert giving evidence as part of the inquest into Ms Bulley's death, noted the water temperature of the River Wyre would have been around "three to five degrees, so there would be a particularly powerful cold-shock response."

"For somebody of Nicola’s size, it would have taken one or two breaths in of water to be a lethal dose."He added that Ms Bulley would have died "less than 10 seconds" after hitting the water.

Speaking after the conclusion of the inquest, Terry Wilcox, the inquest solicitor issued a reminder to the public, he said: “Sadly we feel the need again to raise and address the issue of social media.

“It’s upsetting that we’ve continued to receive negative targeted messages and still widely inaccurate speculation being shared on numerous platforms.

“We encourage people to look at the facts, the evidence which we have heard during the inquest and the conclusion reached by the coroner to ignore any amateur views and opinions and to be mindful of the impact words bring.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Richard Tice said he turned down two Tories who tried to join the party

Reform UK leader Richard Tice says he rejected two Tory MPs who tried to defect in the last year

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s father accused of punching photographer in the face in Sydney

Israel Palestinians

Israel ready to halt war during Ramadan if hostage deal reached, says Biden

"Any form of prejudice or racism" is unacceptable and does not show "who we are as a country", Mr Sunak said.

Rishi Sunak says he's 'living proof' the UK isn't racist after Lee Anderson refused to apologise for Islamist claim

Michael Tomlinson repeatedly refused to answer Nick Ferrari's question

Nick Ferrari cuts off minister who refuses to answer his questions nine times over Lee Anderson's 'Islamophobic remarks'

Rishi Sunak Launches Single-Use Vape Ban At A School In Darlington

Vape tax and another National Insurance cut could come in next week's Budget

The scam was reportedly worth £3million

British Airways supervisor 'on the run in India' after 'running £3m immigration scam' from Heathrow check-in desk

Breaking News

Three men charged in terror probe into 'extreme right wing activity'

Taylor Swift's father Scott Swift, 71, has been accused of assaulting a photographer

Taylor Swift's father Scott accused of ‘punching’ photographer ‘in the chops’

Biden is hopeful of a ceasefire by the end of the week

Biden 'hopeful' of ceasefire in Gaza by the 'end of the week' as hostage proposal sent to Hamas

Joe Biden eating ice cream with Seth Meyers

Joe Biden critics slam US President for eating ice cream as he answer questions on Gaza ceasefire

The British Transport Police has launched a manhunt

Manhunt after two boys attacked with ‘corrosive substance’ at London Tube station in latest incident to rock the capital

Australia Double Fatality

Police asked not to march at Sydney Mardi Gras parade after alleged murders

The MoD said the change came after 'listening to feedback'

Furious military wives force Army U-turn over plans to allocate accommodation based on number of children

The two girls went missing on Friday

Police launch urgent hunt for two missing girls, aged 13 and 17, who vanished last week

Couple Luke Davies and Jesse Baird had not been seen since Monday last week

Body of TV presenter Jesse Baird and boyfriend found ‘hidden under rocks’ in rural town 100 miles from Sydney