Generous dad ‘struggling during coronavirus lockdown’ took his own life in Sheffield

A ‘warm-hearted’ man who was struggling during the coronavirus lockdown tragically took his own life, his family has said.

By Michael Broomhead
Sunday, 26th April 2020, 11:38 am

Michael Burton left a house he had been staying at in Top Road, Calow, last Saturday and his body was sadly found in a property in Sheffield on Monday.

The former Chesterfield police sergeant was 54-years-old.

Michael Burton

Mr Burton’s family said the ‘very sociable’ father was not coping with the current lockdown and he was also deeply affected by the loss of his brother Kevin, who tragically died by suicide on Boxing Day, 2015.

In a statement to the Derbyshire Times, Mr Burton’s family said: “Mike was generous, warm-hearted, supportive and an intelligent conversationalist who was always full of energy and enthusiasm.

“As a teenager he wrote and released a comic book called ‘Quantum’ which he was very proud of.

“His other loves were holidaying and exploring, hosting and competing in pub quizzes with his friends, NFL American football, cricket and collecting Marvel memorabilia.

The late Michael Burton. Pictures kindly submitted by his family.

“He started his working career with trading standards at Dema Glass and then in September 1992 he joined Derbyshire Constabulary where he remained as a sergeant until retiring on December 31, 2018.

“Mike was very principled and would always stand up for what he believed to be right and fair for his family, friends and colleagues.

“He was an incredibly patient and supportive father, indulging in and promoting a curious mind.

“He had a love of science and nature which he satisfied with watching many documentaries and often wondered if he should have pursued a career in the sciences.

Michael with his son, Michael Junior.

“He is a tragic loss to his family and friends who are in total shock at this moment in time.”

Mr Burton’s family added: “Mike found the recent Covid-19 isolation restrictions difficult as he was a very sociable character and he could no longer spend time with his friends and family as he had previously enjoyed.

“This came just months after the inquest into his brother’s tragic suicide, which affected him more than anyone could have known.”

Chief Superintendent Hayley Barnett, of Derbyshire Constabulary, also paid tribute to Mr Burton.

Michael with his sisters Cheryl and Kathleen.

She said: “Mike was a well-liked and respected member of the Derbyshire policing family, and will be sadly missed by his former colleagues.

“Our thoughts go out to his family at this extremely difficult and sad time.”

A spokesperson for Derbyshire Constabulary said there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr Burton’s death.

They added that a file is being prepared for the coroner.

Whoever you are, however you feel, whatever life has done to you, please remember that you are not alone and help is at hand. You can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123 or email them [email protected] The Samaritans are there all day, every day. Visit the NHS website for more information about other mental health helplines.

Michael with his brother Kevin, who died by suicide in 2015.