Mum-of-three in love triangle left ‘very angry’ notes before taking her own life


A devoted mum-of-three left 11 notes, including several targeted at individuals who she believed betrayed her, before taking her own life, an inquest was tld.

Tragic Nicola Ann Byrne was found dead at her home on Saturday July 18 last year.

Rochdale Coroners Court heard how the 36-year-old, from Oldham, had kept her guard up and told her family she was ‘fine’ for months beforehand.

The inquest was told Nicola received abuse about the nature of a new relationship she had begun in October 2019, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Kevin Byrne, Nicola’s father, told the court: “I asked her twice a week about how she was dealing with it, but she would just say ‘I’m fine dad’.

“It was hard, it would be for anybody. But I was 100 per cent sure that at some point she would come out the other end.”

Rochdale Coroners Court
Rochdale Coroners Court where the case was heard

The court heard that Nicola was an ambitious worker at Oasis Academy, having been promoted from a teaching assistant role to admin officer, but had told her dad she was considering becoming a paramedic last year.

She ended a long-term relationship to begin a new one with Dane Armstrong, who was still in another relationship, and once the affair became public Nicola faced a huge backlash.

Kevin said that Nicola, who had to deal with people shouting through her letterbox about the relationship, moved house in February 2020 and had become ‘more guarded’ around the same time.

But in the months leading up to her death, Dane began to revive his previous relationship.

Kevin said: “He was playing at both ends. Nicola was told that. She did not want to listen.

“I think it would have taken a lot longer and she would have had to be more upset for the penny to drop.

“I think there was a massive amount of self-loathing going on. She realised what she had done and it was all for nothing.”

Kevin told the court that the only sign he had from his daughter that she was struggling more than she made out was through a Facebook post days before her death.

He said he wanted to ‘drill deeper’ on the post next time he spoke to her, but he never had the chance.

A statement from her Dr Maajida Ahmad, her GP at Greenbank Medical Practice, confirmed that Nicola had not looked for help with any mental health concerns during the ordeal.

She had been due to go on holiday in Spain the week after her death, with her flights already booked.

The court heard that 11 notes were found when Nicola died, including some which were ‘very angry’ and targeted at individuals who she believed betrayed her.

In his statement to court, Dane said he told Nicola he intended to break up with her and go back with his ex-partner on the night before she was found dead.

She had met him at a pub, where the couple argued before Nicola returned home in a taxi and Dane stayed out.

The court heard that Nicola went on to call him several times that evening, but he eventually switched his phone off.

Dane went round to Nicola’s home the following evening having not heard from her throughout the day.

After discovering her body, he called emergency services, who pronounced her dead at the scene.

Having read through the 11 notes and listened to evidence from Greater Manchester Police, Julie Robertson, assistant coroner for Greater Manchester North, gave a verdict of suicide.

She said: “This is a truly tragic case and I can’t imagine how difficult it has been for you as a family to try and come to terms with.

“I have no doubt that Nicola was a good person.

“She was besotted with a man that caused her significant pain, who she believed betrayed her.

“She was a devoted mum and a good mum, an ambitious lady that enjoyed her career.

“I think she felt she had no one to turn to for advice or support.”

The Samaritans is available 24/7 if you need to talk. You can contact them for free by calling 116 123, email or head to the website to find your nearest branch. You matter.

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