Sergeant Michael Tinsley: North Yorkshire Police officer who won bravery awards took his own life, inquest finds

A well-respected Scarborough police officer took his own life at his home in the town, an inquest has heard.

Sergeant Michael Tinsley, 34, was found by his partner in the garden of the property they shared in the South Bay area on July 12 last year.

The beat officer joined North Yorkshire Police in 2013 and was promoted to sergeant in 2018.

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He had received a bravery award from his force in 2016 for an incident in which he dealt with two 'violent and intoxicated' women armed with knives.

Sergeant Michael Tinsley receiving a bravery award in 2016

An inquest at County Hall in Northallerton on January 17 heard only brief medical evidence and no witness statements indicating his state of mind were read out.

A postmortem found that there were no drugs or alcohol in his system when he died, and he had prepared a will.

His GP said he had prescribed him antidepressants in the past, but he had not been on any medication since March 2020 and had never expressed any thoughts ot self-harm to him.

His partner was in bed at the time and woke up to find Sergeant Tinsley missing. She used a Find my Phone app to track him to the garden.

The office was based in Scarborough for his entire career with the force

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There were no suspicious circumstances that came to light when his death was investigated and senior coroner for North Yorkshire Jon Heath agreed, recording a conclusion of suicide.

A tribute from Chief Constable Lisa Winward read: "Michael was a very popular and well-respected member of the North Yorkshire Police family and of the wider community in Scarborough and his loss will be felt profoundly by everyone who knew him.

“In 2016 his outstanding professionalism was recognised at our annual awards ceremony when he received a Gold Courage Award for single-handedly dealing with a double knife threat, a situation which he alone brought to a safe conclusion. He also went on to win that year’s Public Choice Award, voted for by the public of North Yorkshire, who he dutifully served.

“His death has come as a great shock to all of us and our heartfelt sympathies go out to Michael’s loved ones, his friends and all of his colleagues at this incredibly difficult time."

A statement shared at the time of his death by his family, who were not present at the inquest, said: "Thank you to every single person who has taken the time to comment and share their well-wishes, especially the beautiful memories of Michael that those who knew him shared.

"Your kind words have brought so much comfort to us during this terribly sad time. It was wonderful to see just how many people Michael had helped and brightened their lives.