A schoolboy who plunged 22 floors to his death had lost nearly $2,000 playing poker with his friends, an inquest heard yesterday. Form One student Chan Lin-kiu, 13 - described as a high achiever at school - gambled up to four times a week during the summer holidays last year and had taken more than $5,000 from his savings account to feed his addiction. Choi Shui-sheung, the boy's mother, told the inquest: 'The regular and constant withdrawal of money by my son indicated there must have been someone victimising him.' But Coroner Paul Kelly, recording an open verdict, said that while the boy had been engaged in gambling 'at an inappropriate level', there was no evidence linking his death directly to any criminal reason or to suggest that he intended to take his own life. Lin-kiu's primary school teacher said the boy was a diligent student who often came top of his class. He was found dead on the podium of the North Point building where he lived on September 1 last year, his first day at Cheung Chuk Shan College. His tearful father, Chan Ying-chung, 36, told the court that his son had shown no signs of anxiety or abnormal behaviour when he returned home from school. 'He appeared happy,' said Mr Chan, a cleaning worker. Three months after the tragedy, Mr Chan discovered a savings account passbook belonging to his son showing the boy had withdrawn money repeatedly in July and August that year. Hui Man-o, 16, a schoolfriend of Lin-kiu, said he had been playing poker with the boy for about a year. During last year's summer holidays, games took place in Lin-kiu's home three or four times a week, during which Lin-kiu lost between $500 and $1,000 to friends. 'He just told me he got the money from his parents,' Man-o said. Police Inspector Lau Tak-ming said the boy was believed to have fallen from a spiral staircase of Wan Lee Building. Inspector Lau also said the staircase, which had an 85cm-high railing, showed no sign of inherent danger to Lin-kiu, who was 141cm tall. 'One would have to make an effort to climb over the barrier,' he said.