A MAN who had lost money to gambling and split up with his wife took his own life, a coroner has ruled.

Cheung Ling Poon, also known as Peter Cheung, died the day before his 60th birthday on August 22 after becoming upset about the state of his life.

An inquest into his death, held at Chester-le-Street Magistrates’ Court, heard that Mr Cheung was staying with family above their Chinese takeaway business in Park Lane, Darlington, when he used a ligature to hang himself.

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He was discovered by his six-year-old granddaughter.

DS Jim Cunningham, who led the investigation into Mr Cheung’s death, told the inquest that he was called to the flat at 4.15pm where he arrived in time to see Mr Cheung being taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital, where he later died.

DS Cunningham said: “He had no other injuries, apart from those caused by the resuscitation efforts from the paramedics.”

A post mortem examination found that he had died due to hanging.

Mr Cheung’s family did not give evidence at his inquest, but DS Cunningham had interviewed a family member, Yong Wong, who was able to give information about his mental state.

DS Cunningham said: “He told me that the deceased had been through a very tough patch in his life. He had lost a lot of money through gambling. He had split up with his wife and had moved in with the rest of the family above the takeaway.

“His debt had built up and he felt he had lost the respect of his family and the community. He had indicated before that he had thought about taking his own life.”

Coroner Crispin Oliver, deputy coroner for County Durham, told Mr Cheung’s family that he was satisfied that Mr Cheung had intended to take his own life and recorded a verdict of suicide.