Partner says popular hairdresser found dead at home was ‘let down’ by health services
Elizium shop manager Mia Josephs tells of the tragedy behind Michael Dixon's death
16 March, 2017 — By Tom Foot
THE grieving partner of a popular hairdresser and kindred spirit of Amy Winehouse has called for better health services on the second anniversary of his death.
Mia Josephs – who runs the long-standing Elizium goth specialist clothing store in Camden market – said Michael Dixon was “let down”. She said the 45-year-old had wrestled with bipolar disorder, and heroin and alcohol issues, but had managed to turn a corner in the months before he was found dead at his home in Bayham Street, Camden Town.
Ms Josephs said: “I say again and again that the services are not there. I watched him being pushed around from place to place, from clinic to clinic, all around Camden. He had seen all types of people, there was never any routine. Every time he went to see someone, it was someone different. “There needs to be a lot more support, a lot more therapy. They let him down so badly. But he had been really trying, and doing so well.”
Mia said that during their last night out together, at the “Reptile” goth club night in Archway, Mr Dixon had drunk only coca-cola.
She said “people always thought of Michael as someone who was partying all the time” but that his bipolar meant he often struggled with “solitude” and often felt “withdrawn” or “claustrophobic” in large crowds.
She added: “Michael loved Camden. But he also hated it for the way it was so easy to get drugs. He would love coming up to mine [in Crouch End] to get away from Camden, because it was quiet and peaceful. “Every Sunday we would go to Hampstead Heath. We had our favourite tree [near Kenwood], looking out over the water. He loved to go up there and just smell the grass, listen to the birds. In the evening we’d go to the Wetherspoon and have a steak, watch some movies – horror, super heroes. Sundays are always the hardest day for me. When he was on heroin, Christmases would kind of just pass him by without noticing. But that year, he was at mine putting up the tree and tinsel and everything. He was really enjoying it.”
The mural of Michael Dixon added to an artwork of Amy Winehouse in Camden Town
Mia said Mr Dixon came to Camden Town from Belfast and had found an “adopted dad” in Jonny “Guitar” Hodge – a pub rock band legend who died in Camden Town in 2012. Mr Dixon had kept his ashes in one of Mia’s gothic jewellery trinket boxes and she said she hoped to scatter them with his own ashes near the former home of Ms Winehouse in Camden Square. Mia said he was good friends with the Back to Black singer and she would drop round from time to time to see him at his home. The pair have recently been reunited in a street art mural in Bayham Street.
Ms Josephs contacted police after becoming worried when his phone was switched off all day. “I’ll never forget that knock at the door,” she said.