A MOTHER whose 41-year-old son committed suicide after spending thousands of pounds on gambling today called for a support service in York to help people like her son - before more lives are lost.

Janet Gamble, of Foxwood Hill, York, found her son, Adrian Gamble, lying in the garage after he had slashed his wrist and neck, injuries which led to his death, an inquest heard.

Mrs Gamble described her son, a former building labourer, as having been "addicted" to gambling, albeit intermittently, and said he was trapped in a cycle of betting, to pay for which he took out at least one loan. She said her son, who was on antidepressants and had had therapy, was "crying out for help" - but that there were no specific gambling support groups in York that he could turn to.

Mr Gamble, who was seen regularly by consultant psychiatrist Dr Gerard Garry, of the North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust (PCT), had feelings of guilt and shame associated with his gambling - which was mainly on horseracing - and the high level of support his family gave him, the inquest heard.

Dr Garry told the inquest he believed Mr Gamble had spent a total of about £50,000 on gambling over the years.

Mrs Gamble said afterwards her son had not spent as much as this - but she said he had paid out "thousands of pounds" on gambling.

Mrs Gamble said the family, including her son's brother, Trevor, and their sister, Sarah, had researched into places in York that offered help to people specifically with gambling problems - but had not found any.

"Adrian said he wanted to be with others who had had the same experience as him and get some help," she said.

"We tried to find somewhere for him to go, but there was nowhere in York. We were extremely annoyed about that. There should be something closer to home."

She said her son, a former pupil at Acomb School, had planned to go to Gamblers Anonymous (GA) - which holds meetings to help compulsive gamblers - in Leeds the day he died.

He had appeared to be in high spirits on the day of his death, in October last year, the inquest heard. But Mrs Gamble said something had "snapped" in her son.

"Each day I could see him going further and further down and becoming more and more depressed - he must have felt there was no way out," she said.

She said gamblers who were depressed were unlikely to be motivated to travel to get specific help, and those who were unemployed might not be able to meet the cost of leaving York to get that support.

"Adrian's death was completely devastating for me," she said. "He was a lovely boy, who had never been in any trouble with anyone. I know he had a choice when he first started gambling, but he tried really hard not to do it, with our full support. We love him and miss him so much."

Dr Garry said he had been supporting Mr Gamble, who was not working before he died, in his bid to return to employment.