Ex-detective Mark Williams-Thomas has said that the family of missing Nicola Bulley are “devastated” as they must now deal with not only the fact that she is missing but that information about her private life has been exposed.

He joined the True Crime Newsquest podcast live from the spot where Nicola Bulley was last seen and discussed the latest updates of the case including details of the police press conference that took place on Wednesday, February 15.

Ms Bulley went missing during a dog walk on January 27 after she dropped her two children off at school.

Border Telegraph: Nicola Bulley went missing on January 27Nicola Bulley went missing on January 27 (Image: Family handout/PA)

He made contact with the family and he said they are now going through “more torment” as they deal with the aftermath of the personal information being released.

On Wednesday, Lancashire Constabulary said in the press conference that Nicola Bulley had “some vulnerabilities at the time she went missing” but that they could not expand any further on that.

Later though on Wednesday, the force did release more information which gave the public an insight into Nicola Bulley’s private life, something they hadn’t been made aware of until then.

They said that Nicola Bulley “suffered with some significant issues with alcohol” and that this was “brought on by her ongoing struggles with the menopause”.

In the statement on Wednesday, the police explained that they think by releasing the information about Nicola Bulley's personal struggles, speculation could be reduced. 

The police said they have explained to her family why the information was given out.

In the press conference they said that at the time Nicola Bulley went missing, she was considered a high-risk missing person from the start of the investigation.

To come to the decision, information was gathered from Nicola Bulley’s family which is a normal step to take in any missing person case.

Mark Williams-Thomas, who works for Newsquest, also said in the podcast that he believes Ms Bulley’s partner, Paul Ansell, should take part in a press conference where he can be supported by her friend Emma and the rest of Nicola’s family.

He said Paul Ansell could use the press conference to be honest about the struggles that Nicola was facing at the time of her disappearance and that by being clear and open, the public may get behind him.

Watch the podcast

For those who missed the podcast, it can be watched via the True Crime Newsquest YouTube channel here and via the link below.

Williams-Thomas emphasised that although we now know that Nicola Bulley was struggling with challenges in her private life, she is still missing and that should be the focus.

He said Nicola Bulley's struggles mustn’t overrule the current situation.