Tabloid report claims 11 year-old was driven to injure nephew after playing THQ's The Incredibles
The influence of videogames on violent behaviour is back in the news in the UK, with tabloid newspapers reporting that an 11 year-old boy appeared in court yesterday to explain how he was driven to commit a violent act against a baby whose crying had distracted him from playing a PlayStation 2 game.
But for once, Rockstar is not being blamed for the incident - the title in question was not Manhunt or an instalment in the GTA series but THQ's The Incredibles, based on the Disney/Pixar film of the same name.
The boy, who has not been named, told police became frustrated when he kept "dying" in the game while his seven month-old nephew cried in a nearby room. In a fit of rage, he stabbed the baby in the stomach with a knife.
"I was a bit like a volcano. An erupting volcano," the boy said. "I paused the PlayStation. I went to the kitchen and collected the knife. Without realising it, I stabbed him."
At the time of the incident the boy's step-father was sleeping and his mother was visiting a friend.
Ten minutes after stabbing the baby the boy arrived at the friend's house, telling his mother: "I have done something awful. Something really bad has happened to [the baby]."
On returning home, the boy's mother found the baby bleeding in a carry cot. The baby was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery, and remained there for six days.
Gavin Burrell QC said that the stabbing occurred at a time when the family was experiencing a great deal of strain - the boy's sister was in hospital and his mother was caring for her own children along with the baby.
The boy, who had always been "the baby of the family", felt pushed out, and said he "wanted to send it back," his mother told the court.
Prior to the incident the boy was caught playing truant, and told a teacher: "There is a lot going in my head."
Crying, he explained that his family was caring for a baby who was noisy, saying: "The baby is doing my head in." He also told teachers that he was being bullied.
The boy's mother said her son cared for the baby deeply, and saw him more as a brother than a nephew. The boy has seen the baby once since the incident and was said to be happy, kissing his nephew and waving to him.
Burrell told the jury that there was "really no dispute" about the fact that the boy had injured his nephew. "The sole issue here is the extent of the child's mental intention when he stabbed the baby," he said.
The boy denies attempted murder and wounding with intent. The trial continues.