Who was Ashley Backhouse?
Ashley Backhouse was a 36-year-old man from Norley, known for his lively and approachable personality. Described as a “friend to everyone,” he was often seen engaging in conversations, no matter how brief, rather than simply walking past people. Ashley was undergoing treatment for emotional issues, specifically anxiety and sadness, and was on a prescription for the antidepressant citalopram.
He had a strong family network, with his sister Amy Backhouse being a particularly noticeable figure in his life. According to Amy, Ashley had stopped taking his antidepressant medication for about six weeks before his tragic passing. Despite efforts to get an appointment with his healthcare provider, Beech Hill Health Practice, he was unsuccessful.
Professionally, Ashley was a driver and aspired to become a bus driver in the future. He was also an outdoor enthusiast, enjoying long walks, bike rides, fishing, and golf. He attended St Cuthbert’s Primary School and St Thomas More High School and lived in both Worsley Hall and Norley during his lifetime.
His unexpected death has left a void in the community and among his family and friends, who are collectively grappling with the shock. Plans for a memorial, including a balloon release, are underway. Social media tributes are pouring in, with friends describing him as one of the “most caring, kindest people” they had ever met. Funeral plans are in the works to honor Ashley’s life and legacy.
What happened to Ashley Backhouse?
On the night of May 25, Ashley spent time at the residence of his ex-girlfriend, Sarah Cato, in Orrell. Although the two had a disagreement about whether Ashley should stay overnight, the situation did not escalate into a serious altercation. Sarah believed Ashley had left her residence to visit his mother when she went to bed, only to discover his bike and backpack still at her home later.
Ashley’s mother reported him missing the following day, May 26, citing concerns about him being in a “high-risk” situation. On May 27, after extensive search efforts, Ashley’s body was discovered in a secluded wooded area near Sarah Cato’s home on Orrell Road. The inquiry into his death found no signs of third-party involvement and concluded that his location was not visible from the road.
The circumstances surrounding his death remain inconclusive, and it is unclear if discontinuing his medication played a role in the tragic outcome. A community in mourning, Ashley’s family and friends are organizing memorial events, including a balloon release, to honor his life and legacy.