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Time:2018-01-13 06:24Shoes websites Click:

People courts Clifton Suspension Bridge

The family of a man found dead in Bristol have spoken about their heartache as he battled severe addiction before he killed himself.

Daniel Clinkscales died on October 11, 2017 and his body was found by police at the bottom of the Avon Gorge in the early hours of the next morning.

But Daniel’s family do not just want his death to be remembered, but also the illness that contributed to a “very clever young man, full of passion” killing himself.

The family of the 35-year-old have revealed the devastating impact of the hidden addiction that Daniel suffered with before taking his own life.

'Addictive illness'

“His name was Daniel, he died that night for a reason - a reason that should be heard, that is in the public interest,” said mum Josephine Holloway.

“We are looking to use his death to save the lives of others. He had an addictive illness – a gambling addiction that drove him to gamble when he didn’t want to, to keep gambling when his losses were huge and to gamble until he had nothing left to lose. The only thing that stopped him was running out of money. Only when he was broke did he feel for a short while ‘relieved’ and free of the intense hold it had on him until – as he said- the next payday loomed.”

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Mrs Holloway, 62, was speaking after the inquest in to her son’s death, held at Flax Bourton Coroner’s Court on Friday January 11.

She told the Bristol Post how her son, a regional sales manager who dealt with millions of pounds for work, had lost his entire £43,000 income to gambling in the year before his death.

Daniel, who lived in Tiverton, Devon but had been in Bristol for work, had spent just £18 on one pair of Tesco shoes for himself in the 12 months before he died because so much of his money was going towards gambling, his mum said.

Family do not know what type of gambling

Despite the havoc wreaked by gambling on Daniel’s life, his family still did not know exactly what kind of gambling his addiction involved - all they know is it started with fruit machines.

There are around 400,000 problem gamblers in the UK, according to the Gambling Commission, and more than 2million people are thought to be at risk of addiction.

Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing concluded that Daniel had killed himself after his BMW car was found by police parked near the Avon Gorge in the early hours of October 12, with a phone and iPad locked inside. Another phone, a bottle of vodka and a set of BMW car keys were also found near the cliff edge.

Dr Harrowing said: “It is clear to me, from the evidence provided to me and from the note that Daniel left, that he could not face the future and I believe that was down to his gambling addiction. “

“From the evidence I’ve heard, I’m satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Daniel did take a deliberate action. It was his intention to end his life and so his life was ended as a result.”

The official conclusion recorded was that Daniel died by suicide.

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Avon Coroner’s Court heard that police officers had been searching for Daniel as ‘vulnerable missing person’. His body was found at the foot of the Sea Walls in Avon Gorge, near the Clifton Suspension Bridge, just after 3am.

Daniel’s family – his mum, dad, stepdad, nan, and aunt - sat in court and heard the evidence about his death, but for them the real issue did not receive the right attention.

'Grieving and sick with loss'

Mrs Holloway said: “We stand here before you today, grieving and sick with loss, full of fear and trepidation, feeling like this is something so enormous, that there is so much to say about it, but we have only this one moment in time, just one tiny chance, to say a few choice words, make a family statement, in a court which we are informed is ‘not the place’.

“The disease, the effects of the disease, who and how many have it, how to handle it and what to watch out for, are a matter of public interest and we are searching for those prepared to expose it and become an instrument for change.”

A small change

Daniel’s family are calling for a change to the procedure in coroner’s courts to officially record not just the cause of death but also factors that might have contributed to a suicide – gambling addiction, for example.

They hope this small change could help record more accurate statistics about illnesses like gambling addiction, change government policy and potentially save lives.

Mrs Holloway added: “We have used our family statement at these formal legal proceedings, not to talk to this inquest about our deep love for him and our precious memories of him, but to raise awareness of the dangers of gambling addiction, in an attempt to reduce suicides in such cases in the future and save other families from the devastation it leaves behind.”

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Daniel’s mum asked the coroner if she could read her statement to the court, but was told she could not.

The family's concerns have been echoed by the independent charity GambleAware, which aims to minimise gambling-related harm in the UK.

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