Former police officer, 54, took his own life after falling into depression during lockdown


A FORMER cop took his own life after he fell into a deep depression during coronavirus lockdown, his heartbroken family has revealed.

“Warm-hearted” Michael Burton was found dead 72 hours after he was reported missing from the house where he had been staying.

The 54-year-old, who had retired from the force after 26 years service was said to have been deeply affected by his brother’s suicide years earlier.

But relatives said the devoted dad was struggling living under the lockdown restrictions. 

He was last seen alive as he left a house he had been staying at in Calow, Chesterfield, on Saturday 18 April.

His body was sadly found in a property in Sheffield, South Yorks, three days later.

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, his family said: “Mike found the recentCoVID -19 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.”

His brother Kevin Burton, 47, was found dead at a bed and breakfast on Boxing Day 2015, having ingested a cocktail of powerful drugs.

He had been prescribed four days’ worth of methadone before being discharged from the psychiatric unit at Chesterfield Royal Hospital just days before Christmas.

An inquest heard how Mr Burton, who had a history of mental health issues and drug abuse, had been admitted weeks earlier following an overdose.

He wrote farewell notes to his family before taking the cocktail of medication.

A coroner said on the balance of probabilities his death would have been avoided had he not been discharged with such a large amount of prescribed medication.

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.

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

Chief Superintendent Hayley Barnett, of Derbyshire Constabulary, also paid tribute to the former sergeant.

The Sun

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Tuesday, 26 January 2021

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