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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Kieren Williams

Nicola Bulley's last moments recreated in police video and shown at inquest

Nicola Bulley’s final moments were recreated in a police video showing what may have happened after falling into the river, an inquest was shown.

The 45-year-old was last seen walking her family dog Willow along the River Wyre on January 27.

But after she went missing, a desperate manhunt was launched which captured the attention of the nation.

For weeks, police and emergency services searched for the missing mum until they finally found her body a few weeks later.

She had tragically fallen into the water and died.

The inquest into her death opened yesterday, and heard from experts in drowning, police officers and a Home Office pathologist who revealed how the mum died.

A police officer recreated what could have happened to her after the mum fell in the river (PC Matthew Thackray)

The court heard a complete timeline of the final hours before Ms Bulley vanished.

During one section, police showed a video in which an officer recreated what may have been Ms Bulley’s final moments after she fell into the River Wyre.

It also showed just how easily she could’ve been swept away.

PC Matthew Thackray filmed the video which was shown at the inquest (PC Matthew Thackray)

Three weeks after she disappeared, her body was found on February 19.

During the first day of the inquest yesterday, footage was shown of PC Matthew Thackray filming on his bodycam.

In the water, he moved down the river from the bench where Ms Bulley’s phone was last seen, to where her body was found.


It was said that Ms Bulley would’ve travelled a “metre a second” downstream in the flow of the river.

In the footage, PC Thackray demonstrated how strong the current was.

While entering the water he said: “You can see it's fairly clear at the point of entry.

Police activity near the bench by the River Wyre in St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire, where the mobile phone of the missing mum was found (PA)

"I'm into the middle of the river now and it is pushing me down towards the weir.

“If she did fall in she would probably be floating and be pushed along.”

He continued: "If I were to sit down in that water now you can see that it's taking me along faster. It's now probably at a slow jogging pace.

The mum's body was eventually found in the River Wyre after weeks of searching (PA)

“As you come around the corner you can see the weir in front of us. It's around about 300 metres from the point of entry

“As you get towards it water is now shin deep on me but we do think it is down a little bit from the day in question.

“But if you’re floating it is still more than enough water to push you along.

“As you get to the weir you can see there's a lip but there's a lot of water going over it. The water is now down from how it was on the day

“But it can comfortably push me over and I can float over.”

Home Office pathologist Alison Armour, who carried out the post-mortem examination on Ms Bulley, said the evidence of water in her lungs and stomach led her to conclude the cause of death was drowning.

The coroner asked Ms Armour to sum up her findings and conclusion.

She said: "I conclude the cause of death as drowning. The lungs themselves showed classical features we see in drownings.

"In my opinion Nicola Bulley was alive when she entered the water."

Ms Armour said the presence of water in the lungs showed swallowing the liquid was an "active process" and therefore suggests Ms Bulley was alive at the time she went into the river.

There were no brain bleeds or natural diseases and only normal therapeutic levels of medication in Ms Bulley's body, she added.

A low level of alcohol was consistent with the natural process of decomposition, the inquest heard.

Professor Michael Tipton, a world expert in drowning, said he agreed with the pathologist's findings.

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