Chesterfield online gambling addict took his own life

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A man took his own life after losing a “significant amount of money” through online gambling, an inquest heard.

The body of Peter Hardwick, 45, was found slumped in a vehicle in the Hope Valley in May.

Mr Hardwick, of Devonshire Avenue North, New Whittington, died from “catastrophic” neck injuries. We have decided not to publish exact details of how he killed himself.

At Chesterfield coroners’ court today, Mr Hardwick’s brother and ex-partner said they only found out about his gambling problem the day before his death.

His brother John said: “He told me he’d booked into Gamblers Anonymous.

“Most of the time he was cheerful and happy, a very pleasant person.

“He didn’t say anything about feeling suicidal.”

His ex-partner Julia Coles added: “He told me he was on a casino website.

“I wanted to help him.

“There was no suggestion he was going to hurt himself.”

Ms Coles said Mr Hardwick, who worked for a scaffolding firm, also feared he was going to lose his job.

The court heard Mr Hardwick was caught carrying out “unofficial jobs” for cash while he was working for the company.

Coroner James Newman said he may have done this to “make good his losses”.

Mr Hardwick had arranged to meet with his boss on the morning of May 6 to discuss the situation but instead he drove to a location in Edale where he and his brother used to play as children.

A walker found Mr Hardwick’s body and alerted emergency services.

He was pronounced dead at about 12.15pm.

Mr Newman said: “Mr Hardwick had lost a significant amount of money to online gambling and faced the prospect of losing his job.

“He suffered catastrophic neck injuries and I’m satisfied he took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.”

• If you have concerns about gambling, call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133.

• If you need someone to speak to in confidence, call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.