Mel B's ex-Royal Marine bodyguard found hanging in military uniform after PTSD battle: 'Loss of a very good man'
Mel B's former bodyguard was found hanging in his military uniform and medals after he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an inquest has heard.
Ashley Nickless, 31, had worked for the former Spice Girls member as well as the cast of 'Towie' but had been struggling with PTSD from his time in the forces. Nickless had joined the Royal Marines Commando in 2007. He had reportedly seen his friends getting killed in Afghanistan and was left with shrapnel in his arm.
He was discharged in 2017 after he suffered from PTSD and experienced mental health issues that included flashbacks, panic attacks, and nightmares. Nickless went on to work private security for celebrities and in maritime security in Africa. At a hearing in North Wales, his family said in a statement, "Ashley was a very popular person with a lot of friends," reports The Sun.
"He was a cheeky chap and was held in high regard by the Royal Marines. He will be very sadly missed by us all," the statement continued. The hearing was informed that Nickless had been found hanging at home in November last year. According to The Daily Post, Nickless had been discovered by a friend at his home in Llysfaen in Conwy on November 22 last year, after she grew worried for his well-being after receiving the text messages he sent her.
He had been wearing a full dress uniform and also had three notes nearby as well as pictures of his family. The inquest had also been told about his issues with PTSD and also thanked his family for their support. Coroner Elizabeth Dudley-Jones said that Nickless had wanted to take his own life and also recorded a conclusion of suicide.
She spoke to his family and said, "This is a loss of a very good man. I just hope that you can all support each other going forward." After his death, Mel B shared that Nickless was "one of the family." Former 'EastEnders' star Ross Kemp had also paid tribute to the soldier.
Kemp had tweeted, "I was so sad to hear of the death of Ashley Nickless. I had the honour of meeting Ash in Afghanistan, he was a fine Royal Marine and a fine man. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time. More needs to done to help ex-service people with mental health issues, particularly those with PTSD."
"We cannot underestimate the help that is needed. If you are suffering or if someone you know is suffering please reach out to charities like @CombatStress who are doing brilliant work," Kemp continued.
I was so sad to hear of the death of Ashley Nickless. I had the honour of meeting Ash in Afghanistan, he was a fine Royal Marine and a fine man. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time. More needs to done to help ex-service people with mental health issues...— Ross Kemp (@RossKemp) December 1, 2019
Many social media users reacted in sympathy and expressed their condolences. One user wrote, "I love Mel B. My heart goes out to her, and for that Marine's family. My deepest condolences." Another user add, "Oh dear how terribly sad. we expect our soldiers to face death/injury to protect the public & yet what do the government do for our soldiers? f**k all but ponce around the PC crap of the day ~~~ RIP young man." Yet another social media user who echoed the same sentiments chimed in and wrote, "This is just so sad."
I love Mel B. My heart goes out to her, and for that Marine's family. My deepest condolences.— MELISABUNNY (@melissa04412149) October 1, 2020
Oh dear how terribly sad 😢 we expect our soldiers to face death / injury to protect the public & yet what do the government do for our soldiers? fuck all 🤬 but ponce around the PC crap of the day ~~~ RIP young man 🌹— Pamela Mackie (@PamelaMackie4) September 30, 2020
This is just so sad.— Sam Borne (@sambopp9) September 30, 2020