The family of a man who took his own life paid tribute to “one of the top music photographers of his time”.

Michael Hutson was found hanged in his Brighton Marina houseboat on June 1 last year.

Mr Hutson, 58, worked with some of the biggest music artists in the world including Nirvana, Primal Scream and David Bowie.

His family said he lived with a mental health disorder since he was a young boy but was only diagnosed when he was in his late 40s.

An inquest into his death held in Chichester this month heard that the father-of-two’s career in the music industry “masked the ebbs and flows of what being bipolar is and a lot of creatives do suffer with bipolar”.

“He was an extraordinarily talented photographer able to handle big personalities with ease which made him one of the top music photographers of his time,” said his mum Pam Hutson in a statement read out at his inquest.

“Michael was a truly larger-than-life character, if you wouldn’t see him you would certainly hear him. His sense of humour was enormous. He had the ability to leave a lasting impression on everyone he met.

“When Michael wasn’t as affected by bipolar disorder he was great to be around, a charming and caring gentleman throughout.

“Unfortunately his bipolar disorder made it harder and harder to live with his emotions and the difficulties life can present. He found it extremely challenging finding the right help and medication for many years.

“Although he was an extraordinarily kind person, the rollercoaster continued. We all tried in many different ways of dealing with that rollercoaster.

“It was difficult to know how to handle. He needed special help. Everybody that loved him in the end couldn’t help him. You go back to what could have been done better by professionals once he was diagnosed.”

Mr Hutson had several trips to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton in late November 2022 and would often discharge himself before being seen.

He was seeing a mental health counsellor and attending Alcoholics Anonymous before his death.

The inquest heard that Brighton Marina gave him notice to leave in November 2022 but a family member asked for his mental health nurse to write to the marina and they rescinded the notice.

The inquest heard that he struggled with alcoholism and would turn to it to self-medicate which was a “downward spiral”. They said his prescription medication could have “terrible side effects”.

A statement from his former partner detailed how she tried to help Mr Hutson including taking him back from near his GP surgery where he was found lying on the pavement.

She said: “The world has lost the most sensitive, caring, empathetic and talented soul I have known because he was let down by a crumbling system that is meant to support and protect those that are most vulnerable.”

The inquest heard how he felt that he improved and started to see his mental health advisor less frequently as recently as May 12 last year.

But on May 30 he left his boat tidied, his passwords written down, wrote letters to his family before going for “his last meal and ending his life”.

Coroner Joanne Andrews concluded that his death was a suicide.

Mr Hutson’s illustrious career also saw him picture Ozzy Osbourne, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, the Stones, Elton John and Fatboy Slim.

His family said the work he did in his career is his legacy.

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