Primrose Hill lit up by candles at vigil for Nicole Hurley

Mother-of-four died from stab wounds

Thursday, 21st October 2021 — By Isabelle Stanley


Hundreds walked up Primrose Hill on Wednesday night with candles

A PROCESSION of candles wound its way up Primrose Hill last night (Wednesday) in memory of Nicole Hurley, the mother who was stabbed to death 10 days ago.

Hundreds gathered in Broxwood Way for a vigil to remember the 37-year-old. Many lit candles and laid flowers and cards on the steps of Ms Hurley’s home, where she had lived for the past nine years.

Her uncle Pat stood before the crowd beside her father Tom, and spoke on behalf of her family.

His hands shook as he said: “Nicole was an amazing mum with a gift to handle any situation. She was blessed with a wonderful sense of humour and a great singing voice.

“She will be sadly missed by her family and all who knew her. But her legacy will live on.”

Nicole’s uncle Pat at the start of the event in Broxwood Way

After a minute’s silence, Ms Hurley’s family led the way up Primrose Hill. At the top, looking out over the city, the crowd gathered and her name was spelled out by candles.

The first to speak was Father Terry Murray, the family’s priest from Church of the Sacred Heart in Kilburn.

He said: “I have been struck by how the community has pulled together in this dreadful time.

“We are here to show the family that we will support them not just now, but in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.”

Nicole Hurley

Nicole’s son Jason thanked everyone for their support before passing the megaphone to his younger sister, Amira.

She said: “My mum was the best person you could ever meet. She was funny, smart and beautiful.

“I wrote her name in the sand and the waves washed it away, I wrote her name in the sky and the wind blew it away. I wrote her name in my heart, and that’s where it will stay.”

Father Terry leads thoughts and prayers at the summit of Primrose Hill

Her sister Violet then added: “She was a wonderful person. I want to thank everyone who was there for us on the night it happened – you were there for all of us and we’ll never forget that.”

As friends and family shared memories of Ms Hurley’s life, an impromptu rendition of Amazing Grace broke out.

The new police borough commander, Chief Supt Andy Carter, attended. Town Hall leader Councillor Georgia Gould was also present.

An emergency council debate about violence against women and girls is due to be held next month.

Ms Hurley was part of a large, close-knit family with five siblings and 23 cousins. They moved to London from Kerry in Ireland when her parents were young and all settled near to each other.

Organiser Brigitte Clements

Speaking about Ms Hurley before the vigil, her cousin Claire Hurley said: “Their house in Child’s Hill, growing up, was the party house – they had darts, table tennis, it was the best. We were around there all the time.” Another cousin, Stacey, added: “We all grew up together.

“Your cousins are your first friends, we were all really close.”

Nicole grew up in Cricklewood, attending St Agnes primary school and then Bishop Douglass secondary school.

After leaving school, she worked as a receptionist in a doctor’s office, and then in the family hospitality business.

Another cousin, Lorraine Quinn, said: “She was gentle, kind, funny, really clever and articulate. She was sociable and fun. She loved to dance.”

Like the rest of her family, Ms Hurley was a practising Catholic.

People queued to place a candle at the bench at the top of the hill

Above all, her cousins praised her as a mother.

They said: “She was the most incredible mother – those kids are the most polite, kind, they are a testament to her. She dedicated her life to being a mother, really.”

A fundraiser for the children, started by neighbour and friend Brigitte Clements, has reached more than £40,000. The money will cover the costs of Nicole’s funeral and then go towards the children’s education.

Her cousin, Claire, said: “All the messages and tributes that have been coming through have made us realise just how loved she was.”

The whole family have been shaken by Nicole’s death, she said. “It’s something you see on the news every day, but you never think it’s going to be you. It’s awful how often it’s in the news and you don’t think you’ll have to go through it.”

She added: “People just have to look out for each other.”

Jason Bell, 40, has been charged with Ms Hurley’s murder.

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