Nicola Bulley diving expert reveals why they didn’t find body in their river search
A forensic team is currently in the process of formally identifying the body.
A forensic diving expert brought in to assist with the Nicola Bulley search has said that he was ‘not tasked with searching the reeds’ where a body was retrieved from the river, on Sunday February 19th.
Peter Faulding was brought in with his team Specialist Group International (SIG) to help police look for Ms Bulley 10 days after she had gone missing while out walking her dog along the River Wyre, in Lancashire on January 27th.
Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Mr Faulding said he and his team were given the task of clearing the river and no body was found in the river during the search. Mr Faulding said: “Our search was not in the reeds, our main focus was above the bench area.
“I can hand on heart say we did our best, but she was not on the river bed, we would have seen her clearly.”
Divers from SIG ended their search after they concluded that Ms Bulley was ‘categorically not’ in the stretch of river where police believed she fell in, on Wednesday February 8th.
Speaking to ITV Granada Reports that day he said: “We’ve done very thorough searches all the way down to the weir. Police divers have dived it three times, extremely thoroughly.
“If Nicola was in that river I would have found her – I guarantee you that – and she’s not in that section of the river.”
A body was pulled from the River Wyre on Sunday after two dog walkers spotted something in the reeds and alerted police at approximately 11.35am. It has not yet been confirmed if the body is that of Ms Bulley and a formal identification process which could take ‘days’ is currently underway.
Meanwhile, Ms Bulley’s partner Paul Ansell has spoken of the family’s ‘agony’ while they await the results of the tests. The investigation into the 45-year-old mother-of-two’s disappearance has attracted widespread speculation as well as criticism of Lancashire Police force’s response.
Lancashire officers came under fire after making Ms Bulley’s struggles public. In a press conference held on Wednesday February 15th they revealed that the mortgage advisor was considered a ‘high risk’ missing person with ‘specific vulnerabilities’ after information they were given by Mr Ansell.
In the meeting they refused to elaborate as to what those ‘vulnerabilities’ were but shortly afterwards, police released a statement via social media revealing that Ms Bulley struggled with ‘significant alcohol issues’ due to ‘suffering with the menopause’. They added that she had stopped taking her HRT medication.
A public backlash and interventions from both the Government and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper followed, with Lancashire Police confirming a date has been set for an internal review into the investigation.
A police spokeswoman said: “A review of the investigation is diarised and will be conducted by our head of crime Detective Chief Superintendent Pauline Stables.”
Woman tragically dies in Manchester petrol station incident
Emergency services attended the scene but the woman was sadly confirmed dead
An elderly woman has died following a crash at a petrol station in Manchester.
Officers believe the woman, who was in her 70s, suffered a medical episode while at the wheel of her car when she crashed into a small brick wall.
She had been trying to drive the Nissan Micra off the forecourt of the Asda petrol station in Moston Lane, Harpurhey, at approximately 10.45am on Wednesday, March 22nd.
Emergency services attended the scene but the woman was sadly confirmed dead. Greater Manchester Police have appealed for any witnesses to help them.
A section of stretch of road, near the junction with Rochdale Road, was closed for a number of hours while emergency services dealt with the incident. Paramedics and two air ambulances were seen.
Anyone with information or on the forecourt at the time of the incident should contact police on 0161 856 4741 quoting log 1103-22/3/2023.
Information can also be reported online or by using the LiveChat function at www.gmp.police.uk. If you can’t report online, call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
‘Postbox to heaven’ now installed at Greater Manchester crematorium
Such a lovely idea!
A postbox allowing people to send letters to their loved ones in heaven has now been installed at a Greater Manchester crematorium.
The white and gold Royal Mail letterbox can be found at Howe Bridge crematorium in Atherton, Wigan Borough. It was the idea of nine-year-old Matilda Handy who wanted to send a letter to her late grandparents to help her cope with the grief of her loss.
The first was set-up at Gedling Crematorium, near Nottingham, and proved a popular concept with over 100 letters and cards posted within its first few weeks. Speaking to Granada Reports, Matilda’s mother Leanne, who is Gedling Crematorium’s Memorial Advisor, said: “She was four when my mum died, and never met my dad.
“Now the postbox is in place, I am so pleased that local people are using it, and taking some comfort from it, as another way of feeling connected to their loved ones.”
UK crematorium and cemetery operator, Westerleigh Group is now rolling out the postboxes across all of its sites.
Lindsey Edwardson, Site Manager at Howe Bridge Crematorium, said: “Feedback has shown that the process of writing a letter, or perhaps a birthday card, to a lost loved one has already brought therapeutic comfort to many people.
“Now, the communities in and around our crematorium can do the same thing. No address or stamps are required on any of the letters or cards. This is just another way in which we can provide emotional support to local families.”
A post on the Howe Bridge Crematorium Facebook page read: “We are proud to announce the official opening of our Letters to Heaven Post Box. Our thanks go to Alison Regan Civil Funeral Celebrant for her beautiful service to commemorate its opening.
“For all those who wish, you can post a letter to your loved ones that are no longer with us at the Post Box.”
Woman with undiagnosed brain tumour had to visit doctors nine times to get scan
Doctors told her if she had not had the surgery within a few hours or days then it could have been a different story
A woman with an undiagnosed brain tumour who was told ‘we don’t give out brain scans to 24-year-olds willy nilly’ is now campaigning for change.
Claudia Laird, from Burnley, went to see a medical professional on nine occasions as she tried to get to the bottom of why she felt so unwell. One week later, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Claudia told ITV Granada Reports: “I think the initial reaction was trusting of the GP. I was in shock after, because I found out I definitely needed that brain scan.
“It was all quite quick – they weren’t sure what was on the brain at first. It was all up in the air.
“I can’t believe I went through that. We were just waiting for the doctors to tell us the outcome. It was challenging, but more so looking back on it now. At the time, you don’t know the outcome.”
Claudia was experiencing symptoms of confusion, hallucinations and fatigue. But doctors put it down to what they thought to be gastroenteritis. After discovering the tumour, Claudia had to then undergo an eight-hour operation.
Doctors told her if she had not had the surgery within a few hours or days then it could have been a different story. She said: “I was asleep all the time. My friends would call me lazy. I thought it was because I was working long hours.
“I walked into a window thinking it was a door. I spent a night in bed with my mum and dad because I was hallucinating.”
Claudia is now training to be a paediatrician, to give people the same level of care. After the difficulty she had in getting diagnosed, Claudia has decided she does not want the same mistakes to happen to someone else.
Claudia said: “We need everybody to understand the difficulty of getting that diagnosis. It took me over nine times to get that diagnosis. I went to opticians, GP and A&E just to push to say ‘I really don’t think something is right here’.
“I want to see some changes, some research, funding into brain tumours. 1% of cancer research goes into brain tumours.”
The NHS lists the symptoms of a brain tumour as:
- seizures (fits)
- persistently feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) and drowsiness.
- mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality.
- progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body.
- vision or speech problems.