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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Ellen Kirwin

Nicola Bulley's sister breaks down in tears giving evidence at inquest

Nicola Bulley's sister broke down in tears while giving evidence during the inquest into her sister's death.

Speaking at coroners court, Louise Cunningham started crying when she was describing the type of person the mum-of-two was. She also spoke of her sister's sleeping problems and troubles with HRT symptoms in the months leading up to her death.

When 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." Louise described a "blip" before she went missing.

READ MORE: Nicola Bulley's Fitbit gave a heart rate output for eight days after she drowned

Louise Cunningham said: "She had a blip over Christmas (2022) but she was back on the HRT medication in January and back to work and back to the normal Nikki." Ms Cunningham said her sister was drinking more heavily over that period. However, she added: "She's never confided in me about any suicidal thoughts."

Nicola's sister began to break down when she was asked what type of person the mum-of-two was. She said: "She was my big sister ... very much a planner.

“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."

Asked by the coroner whether she would 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."

Louise had previously called an ambulance for her sister, over concerns for her welfare. Mental health clinician Theresa Lewis Leevy attended Nicola Bulley's home along with a police officer and a paramedic, over concerns for her welfare.

They attended on January 10, and 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.”

They were asked to attend by Ms Bulley's sister Ms Cunningham as 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.

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.

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