Tragic death of talented drag queen who had 'a beautiful soul'

Paul Ison who went by the drag queen name Nova Gina
-Credit: (Image: Submitted)


A talented designer who created his own stunning drag queen outfits was found dead at home in what his partner has described as a "cry for help gone wrong", an inquest heard.

Paul Ison, whose drag queen name was Nova Gina, had struggled with his mental health for some time and had, in the past, spent time at an in-patient mental health unit. He found love nine years ago, with his partner Richard Clarke, and the pair lived together in a quiet cul-de-sac in Thornton-Cleveleys.

The hearing was told that on the evening of April 8 this year Paul and Richard had spent the night relaxing with a bottle of wine and at around 10.30pm Paul went into the converted shed which he used as a sewing room to design and create his drag queen outfits.

READ MORE: Missing Jay Slater new update issued by Spanish police after search for teen

Although the couple hadn't argued, at one point Paul had muttered something under his breath, and Richard went to bed. The following morning, when Richard discovered Paul hadn't come up to bed, he went into the sewing room where he found his partner.

Richard shouted for help and a neighbour called 999. Paramedics arrived at around 8.15am but Paul was pronounced dead at the scene.

The inquest at Preston Coroner's Court heard that Paul, 40, had "so much going for him". Both Richard and Paul's dad said in statements that his actions would have been a "cry for help".

"I would always go and check on him in the sewing room and he knew that," Richard said. "I think in Paul's mind he was hoping that I would catch him before it went too far. I don't think Paul intended to take his own life."

Returning a narrative conclusion, Area Coroner Chris Long said: "Paul Henry Ison died on April 9, 2024, at his home address. It has not been possible to determine what Mr Ison intended."

After the inquest Richard described Paul as "very talented" and said he loved "putting the other drag queens to shame" with his spectacular outfits.

Richard's favourite photo of Paul
Richard's favourite photo of Paul -Credit:Submitted

"He was full of life and always wanted to help other people," Richard told LancsLive. "Nothing was too much for him.

"He loved his dog Prince but he sadly passed away in November last year. His sewing room was his 'happy place' and he also enjoyed going up to the Lakes in our motorhome.

"He loved wildlife and animals, he was always buying food for them and putting others before himself. He was a good person who loved his family very much."

After Paul's death friends and family raised £210 in his memory for the Prism LGBTQ+ organisation.

Paul's Auntie Susan described her nephew as "a beautiful soul taken far too soon" and added: "Heaven has gained a beautiful earth angel."

Another aunt, Pauline, wrote: "You have left behind lots of broken hearts. You will be sadly missed by everyone but heaven has gained a beautiful soul."

Subscribe to our daily newsletter LANCS LIVE NEWS and get all the biggest stories from across Lancashire direct to your inbox