Heartbroken family pay tribute to 'amazing' Sheffield dad-of-five who took his own life

A heartbroken family has paid an emotional tribute to an ‘amazing’ dad-of-five from Sheffield who took his own life.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 12:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th January 2020, 2:01 pm

Daniel Walton was found hanging at his home in Shiregreen on July 26 last year and despite paramedics’ best efforts to resuscitate him he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Northern General Hospital that day.

At his inquest today, Thursday, January 9, Sheffield Coroner’s Court heard how the 35-year-old binman, whose children are aged between one and 16 years, had battled mental health problems for at least a decade yet those closest to him never knew the full extent of his struggles.

Daniel’s aunt Beverley said: “His kids absolutely adored him. He was an amazing dad. He was always joking.”

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Daniel Walton, of Shiregreen, Sheffield

Holding back the tears, his sister Juliet said: “We were very close but we wouldn’t have thought he was going through all this. He was so loud. He was a big kid himself.”

Since Daniel’s death, his family and friends have raised more than £500 for the charity Sheffield Mind, which has campaigned to raise awareness of mental health in the community, particularly among men.

His 10-year-old daughter Kasey even organised a sponsored walk last summer around Concord Park, in which Daniel’s other children – including his one-year-old girl Freya, who was wheeled around the course in a pram by her mum Tammy, who was Daniel’s long-term partner – took part.

Daniel’s family also told how his many friends had been brilliant since his death, holding various fundraising activities in his honour including a street barbecue and sponsored tattoos.

Sheffield Skin Works tattoo parlour in Firth Park inked semicolons, which it said were a symbol of people battling their own demons or showing support to others struggling with mental health problems, onto customers in Daniel’s memory and passed on the proceeds to his family.

His friends, who organised the event, said at the time that it was a way to show how many people were thinking of Daniel and his family, while also raising awareness about mental health. They said it was important to show ‘it’s okay not to be okay’.

Speaking at the inquest, Daniel’s GP, Dr Charlotte Bryson, of Burngreave Surgery, told how Daniel had a history of problems with depression and anxiety for which he had sought help many times dating back to 2009 and had been prescribed medication.

She said he had described being stressed about money and work, and when she saw him in April last year he had been in a ‘very low mood’, but at his last appointment the following month he had appeared to be coping better and was planning to return to work.

Recording a conclusion of suicide, assistant coroner Katy Dickinson offered Daniel’s family her condolences, adding ‘from what you’ve told me he sounds like a lovely man and I’m sure we would have got along’.

You can donate to Sheffield Mind at www.sheffieldmind.co.uk.

If you need to talk, you can call Samaritans for free at any time on 116 123, or visit samaritans.org.