Holly’s death ‘a total shock’ for family

Holly Bradbury
Holly Bradbury
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A young woman sent a text message to her ex-boyfriend telling him ‘I did it for me, I’m so happy’ just hours before she was found hanged in her bedroom.

Bolton Coroners’ Court heard how the message was sent from Holly Bradbury’s phone at 13.17pm on the day of her death, to James Gallagher who she had been in a relationship with until the pair had broken up recently.

She was a bright, beautiful young woman who had gone through some very difficult times for quite a short period. But she had worked hard to transform things and we were really proud of her, she had turned things around, she was maturing and blossoming

Holly’s mum, Dr Amanda Chivers

The court heard that the text was one of a series the 23-year-old sent to Mr Gallagher after a first message which read ‘I love you’. He replied ‘Come on Holly, we’re not good for each other lets just be mates’.

She replied a short time later, ‘I just wanted you to know I am totally content. Things just got clear on what I need to do. I just wanted to thank you and tell you I love you’.

This was the followed by another message from Holly which read, ‘I took your advice. I did it for me. I’m so happy’.

Holly was found hanged in her bedroom at her Standish home at around 5.50pm on February 29, surrounded by a number of packets of tablets and some alcohol.

The court heard how she had previously suffered from mental health issues and had self harmed in the past. She had been involved in an abusive relationship over the course of 20 months in 2013 and 2014.

But, since the relationship ended, Holly, who moved back in with her parents Dr Amanda Chivers and Eric Bradbury at their home on Chorley Road, Standish, had been working hard and had started to turn her life around.

Her mum, Dr Chivers told the court: “For six months we were going backwards and forwards to the house, bringing her home and trying to get her to stay. We would see things all smashed up.

“It was a very horrific period for us. We did everything we could but he seemed to have some kind of hold over her.

“She was a bright, beautiful young woman who had gone through some very difficult times for quite a short period. But she had worked hard to transform things and we were really proud of her, she had turned things around, she was maturing and blossoming.

“We have heard from so many people since her death what a kind person she was and how she had inspired others and encouraged them to go to the gym and get fit.

“There was nothing to suggest this would happen. It was a total shock. The only thing we can think is something triggered. I know that when people have experienced domestic abuse for a sustained period the cut goes deep. Maybe it hadn’t really healed.”

The court heard that Holly had self harmed in the past and had told a doctor in 2012 that she had taken an overdose in 2011. She had also sought help from mental health services but had stopped attending appointments before her death.

She was found hanged on February 29 but a post mortem also revealed she had alcohol and more than five times the therapeutic level of painkillers in her system at the time of her death.

It was this that led assistant coroner Alison Miller-Varey to conclude that Holly had intended to take her own life.

She also said that the text messages sent to James Gallagher before he death suggested she was planning something.

The court heard how Holly had known Mr Gallagher from school and the pair had started dating after getting back in touch. They had broken up during a six-week trip to Thailand from which they had returned on February 1, 2016.

Mr Gallagher told the court he had seen Holly before her death and something seemed wrong but she wouldn’t tell him what.

Her family said she had been making plans and looking forward to a job interview that week.

Helplines and websites

Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org.

Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.http://www.depressionalliance.org/

Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts. Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying. http://studentsagainstdepression.org/

Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.

PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.

Related article: Inquest hears of hidden torment of pretty Holly, 23