Mel B's ex-Royal Marine bodyguard, 31, hanged himself

Mel B’s ex-Royal Marine bodyguard, 31, hanged himself wearing his uniform and medals at home amid PTSD battle after seeing friends killed in Afghanistan

  • Corporal Ashley Bernard Nickless, 31, was discovered at his Conwy, Wales
  • Mr Nickless worked as Spice Girl Mel B’s bodyguard after he was discharged
  • He left the Royal Marines Commando in 2017 with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details 

Mel B’s former body guard hanged himself while wearing full military uniform amid a battle with post-traumatic stress disorder sparked from his time serving in the Royal Marines. 

‘Devoted daddy’ Corporal Ashley Bernard Nickless, 31, was discovered at his Conwy, Wales, home by a friend who became concerned after a worrying text to her, an inquest heard.

Mr Nickless – a father-of-one – worked as Spice Girl Mel B’s bodyguard after he was discharged from the Royal Marines Commando with PTSD in 2017.

Mel B previously said she spoke to him about his struggles while he was under her employ – and said his death is a ‘damming indictment of the lack of help for those suffering PTSD’.


Mel B’s former body guard Corporal Ashley Bernard Nickless, 31, (right and left with Mel B) hanged himself while wearing full military uniform amid a battle with post-traumatic stress disorder following his time serving in the Royal Marines

‘Devoted daddy’ Mr Nickless (pictured) was discovered at his Conwy, Wales, home by a friend who became concerned after a worrying text to her, an inquest heard

During his time in the military – which he joined in 2007 – Mr Nickless (pictured) witnessed his friends killed in Afghanistan and was left with pieces of shrapnel stuck in his arm

During his time in the military – which he joined in 2007 – Mr Nickless witnessed his friends killed in Afghanistan and was left with pieces of shrapnel stuck in his arm.

When he left in 2017, he kept having nightmares, panic attacks and suffered from flashbacks.

Mr Nickless – commonly known as Ash – was wearing medals and cermonial blue uniform when he was discovered.

Although desperate attempts to save his life were made, he tragically died from suspension-induced asphixiation, the Ruthin inquest was told. 

There were traces of cocaine and alcohol in his system, a post-mortem examination found.

A Malaria drug was also found, a disease he contracted in Sierra Leone in his post-military career. 

His family were ‘scared of his behaviour’ in recent years and he was getting gradually further into debt.

He had made two previous suicide attempts, both in 2019, the Daily Post reported. 

A funeral notice said he was a ‘cherished husband of Katie, much loved son of Melvin and Amanda, dear step-son of Claire, [and] loving brother of Amy and Thomas’  

Mel B earlier told The Mirror: ‘I talked a lot to Ash about PTSD. I suffer from it as a result of an emotional abusive marriage and he suffered from it as a result of what he went through and what he saw in war zones.

‘I met Ash more than a year ago because he looked after my daughter Phoenix.’

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details 

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