‘Eighteen months ago, Kevin Sluman was out on his boat trawling for fish in the Bristol Channel, delighted to have his son Aaron back from London and working alongside him in the summer sunshine.
By chance, he noticed a Bet365 app on his son’s smartphone. ‘I told him that if he was gambling, there was only one winner and it wouldn’t be him,’ recalls Kevin.
‘I can still see him standing there saying not to worry, he only placed a bet every now and then.’
Four months later, Kevin was captaining the boat again when his mobile phone rang. It was Aaron’s mother, calling to tell him that their son was dead.
Aaron had killed himself after losing £750 in one night, tortured by a secret compulsion for online gambling that destroyed his life.
‘I still can’t believe it,’ says Kevin, 49. ‘He was such a lovely lad. He loved being outdoors and never did anyone harm.’
Aaron’s suicide has left Kevin in dark despair, furious with gambling firms that make vast profits by preying on people such as his son.
‘I thought the world of him and it hurts me so much to know he could not tell me about his addiction.’