United Kingdom

'Loving' mother, 32, took her own life after being haunted by flashbacks of gang rape

A loving mother who struggled with lockdown took her own life as she was haunted by flashbacks of a gang rape.

Nicola McIntyre, 32, had suffered from mental health issues since she was a child, but an inquest heard how lockdown and a 'betrayal,' by a work friend had an adverse effect on her wellbeing. 

The shop worker, described as 'kind, loving and so much fun' by her two sisters, was found at her home in Anson Road, East Hull, on August 29 after taking a number of prescribed medications.

Hull Coroner's Court heard how the mother-of-one became 'deeply depressed,' after discovering her partner had slept with her friend. 

Nicola McIntyre, 32, was found unresponsive at her home in Hull last August. She was rushed to hospital where she was pronounced dead. An inquest has heard the mother-of-one had suffered 'vivid memories and flashbacks' of a gang rape involving a group of men

The inquest heard how Ms McIntyre had struggled with her mental health after her parents split up when she was four-years-old.

The split 'changed her world,' according to her sister Sarah. 

After leaving school aged 16 to become an apprentice hairdresser, Nicola went on to have a number of difficult relationships beginning aged 19.

The court heard how Nicola had a son, but the relationship with his father broke down.

She moved out of their flat and moved into a council house. She later moved into a house in Anson Road after meeting her latest partner.

After securing a new job, Nicola became friends with a colleague who she suspected was 'conspiring with' her partner. The court heard claims the friend later admitted to sleeping with him.

Around the same time, she started experiencing 'vivid memories and flashbacks' of a gang rape involving a group of men. 

The shop worker had experienced mental health problems since her parents split up when she was four-years-old, an inquest has heard. Ms McIntyre's siblings said she could light up a room, but was becoming 'deeply depressed' in the months before her death

Sister Hayley Todd told the court: 'I could see that she was changing and becoming deeply depressed. 

'She told me that she went to get help from multiple mental health charities. She told me that she felt that no one was helping and that she was failing.'

The court heard that Nicola was trying to get professional help to help with her problems but felt she was not getting the right care.

In the final month of her life, Nicola was unwell and frightened 'she would go nuts', according to Hayley. 

She said the coronavirus lockdown also had an adverse effect on Nicola's mental health while difficulties in her circle of friends 'made her feel more anxious'. 

On August 27, Hayley said Nicola seemed 'very happy' when the three sisters took part in a three-hour WhatsApp video call.

The call ended at 6pm and after making plans to meet up with sister Sarah for dinner the following week. 

'I text "I love you" and she said it back and that was the last I heard from her,' Sarah said.

Sadly, both sisters were informed of Nicola's death just over a day later after she was discovered unresponsive in her home before being transferred to Hull Royal Infirmary where she was later pronounced dead.

Ms McIntyre's sisters said she seemed 'very happy,' when they spoke over WhatsApp just hours before she took her own life. Coroner Rosemary Baxter concluded Nicola had died as a result of suicide

Coroner Rosemary Baxter concluded Nicola had died as a result of suicide.

Paying tribute to her sister, Sarah McIntyre said: 'She lit up the room and loved to laugh. At family gatherings you would always know where she was because you could hear her laughing.

'She was really family orientated, and loved children and animals - more often than not you'd find her sat on the floor playing with children and our family dogs.'

She added: 'Nicola was incredibly creative. She loved writing stories and crafting, often making family members thoughtful, personalised gifts... She was really house proud and was a big Mrs Hinch fan, and loved sharing her cleaning hacks with us.

'We are still trying to come to terms with Nicola's death and are all truly devastated.

'Our hearts are forever broken and she will be missed each and every day.'

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