'Loving' mum, 32, killed herself after she was gang raped as heartbroken sister pays tribute

A 'LOVING' Hull mum took her own life after struggling to deal with a series of devastating events – including a brutal sex attack.

Nicola McIntyre, 32, suffered from mental health issues after enduring flashbacks of a horrific gang rape and being "betrayed" by a work friend, Hull Coroner's Court heard.

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

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.”

An inquest into Nicola's death heard she suffered with mental health issues, which began just aged four, when her parents split up.

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 from the age of 19.

The court heard how Nicola had a son – but the relationship with his dad sadly broke down.

Nicola moved out of their flat and moved into a council house. She later moved into a new house 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.


EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
  • Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123

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 deal 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 in the early hours of the following morning after she was discovered unresponsive in her home before being transferred to Hull Royal Infirmary where she was later pronounced dead.

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

After the inquest, Nicola’s sister Sarah said: “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.”

Contact the Samaritans

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article contact The Samaritans on 116 123. They are available for free at anytime.

Or email https://www.samaritans.org/

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