Nicola Bulley inquest: Two days of evidence to be heard in Preston as coroner investigates mum-of-two's death
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The mother-of-two’s body was found in the River Wyre on February 19, 23 days after she went missing in St Michael’s on Wyre.
Her disappearance garnered almost unprecedented media and public scrutiny, with more clarity about exactly what happened to the 45-year-old from Inskip expected during the two-day hearing on Monday, June 26 and Tuesday, June 27.
Nicola vanished while walking her dog on January 27, shortly after dropping her two daughters off at school. A huge police search followed with Lancashire Police under the microscope for their handling of one of the most high profile cases of recent years, Villagers were even forced to call in security to combat TikTokers and YouTubers who descended on the small community.
When the inquest was initially opened and closed in February, Dr James Adeley, Lancashire’s Senior Coroner, said a hospital consultant had identified Nicola’s body from dental records provided by her surgery in Great Eccleston. Arrangements were also made for the hearing next week, with the intervening four months allowing for the facts of the case to be established and for experts who will be used to “finalise their findings”.
This two-day hearing will likely see Dr Adeley hear evidence from a range of experts and interested parties including the police, medical professionals and her family. Around 100 people in all are expected to attend, including the Lancashire Post and other media.
As part of the process, police divers were spotted back in the River Wyre in April “acting under instruction of HM Senior Coroner having been asked to assess the riverbanks”.
Inquests look to answer four key questions. Who the deceased was, when and where they died, the medical cause of their death and how they came by their death. The focus is usually on the final question where coroners can give a conclusion. These are often also described as a ‘verdict’ and can include labels such as ‘natural causes’ or ‘accidental death’. Coroners do not however have to use them and can create new ones or simply write a narrative of the facts of the case.