The inquest on Nicola Bulley began today in the Victorian Council Chamber of County Hall in Preston and is expected to last two days. Nicola vanished earlier this year, on 27th January. After extensive searches and much media coverage, her body was found on 19th February about a mile from where she was first reported missing from.
Today (Monday 26th June) Dr James Adeley, the Senior Coroner for Lancashire, was told by the consultant pathologist Alison Armour that the 45-year-old mother died by drowning but hadn’t been drinking on day she disappeared and was not harmed by a third party. The inquest heard that Nicola Bulley was alive when she fell in the River Wyre – but the icy water in January could have killed her in just 25 seconds.
The pathologist said that Nicola’s forehead was caked in mud and the dirt found in her body was among typical features seen in cases of drowning. Her lungs were enlarged and watery fluid was found in her body. Tiny traces of alcohol were found but they could be explained by a postmortem process involving bacteria.
Coroner Dr James Adeley asked the pathologist, ‘At the time of her death she essentially had no alcohol in her bloodstream?’ The pathologist replied: ‘That’s my opinion.’ She was then asked if there was evidence Bulley had been assaulted or if there was any third-party involvement. She replied, ‘No.’
The inquest continues.