Home Gaming Guilty: Gamer Kills Seven-week-old Son While Playing Playstation

Guilty: Gamer Kills Seven-week-old Son While Playing Playstation


In October of last year, Joseph McDonald, 23, lived with his wife, Samantha Duckmanton, and their two sons. While playing a PlayStation game, he became angry and aggressively seized their son, Lucas. 

On October 24, Ms. Duckmanton heard her son making a high, loud crying noise while she was in the kitchen. Her husband was in the living room with him playing PlayStation. When she asked what the screaming was all about, he told her he was swaddling Lucas. At that time, he said he had pushed too hard on the back of the child’s brain stem.

The next morning, when baby Lucas got his routine vaccinations, his mother thought he was having a bad reaction, including refusing to drink milk. Yet overnight, the young boy made no changes.

After contacting the hospital many times, she took him to the emergency room at Benalla hospital. He was later transferred to the Monash Children’s Hospital before being declared dead on October 29.

The seven-week-old baby sustained severe head and spinal injuries at his home in Benalla, in Victoria’s northeast. He was not able to be revived in time and died at the Monash Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, five days later.

The medical reports revealed that the baby’s injuries were associated with shaking or trauma by blunt force. The death may have been caused by him directly striking the boy on the head or using an object to strike his head.

He left the hospital afterward, sparking a state-wide search. Police lawyer Mark Gibson denied any of the statements he made surrounding the injury to the boy. 

To this day, Ms. Duckmanton doesn’t think she will ever be able to stop wondering what was going on inside his mind at that moment. She also said it was a coward’s act, and being his dad, he was supposed to take care of him. McDonald failed in every aspect of his life, whether it is a responsible husband or a loving dad.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, the baby’s shocked mother remembered the little boy who completed the family. “I fell in love instantaneously,” she said. “You have broken my faith absolutely. You have misled me. Lucas wanted his daddy to make him feel secure and protected. You do not deserve pardon, nor do you deserve daddy’s title.” 

Joseph William McDonald, 23, was found guilty of one count of child murder. In Victoria’s Supreme Court, McDonald pled guilty to child murder. His PlayStation craze led to his caring son’s death.

He was charged with a non-parole term of just over six and a half years in prison, of which he had only served a year. A gamer suffering from a gaming addiction and struggling with anger management issues has admitted he killed his son in a fit of extreme anger.

Hearing this was quite disappointing. Some reactions from people stated that six years is not enough; his sentence should be life imprisonment and a term of 25 years; our country is being destroyed by these judges; enough has been enough; this person is too selfish to be considered an adult.

The court heard McDonald was in the middle of a PlayStation game when he became frustrated and injured the child. In the weeks leading up to the event, he searched for treatment for anger management issues online.

Joseph’s attorneys say he wants to battle his rage, drug use, and aggressive video game addiction. He had also messaged his wife, Samatha Duckmanton, apologizing for being the “worst father” and the “worst partner,” the Announce Sun reported. In the same series of messages, he told her he would put her and their children first and “instantly hated” himself for what he did to her.

The mother said that her baby was great in all possible ways, and she wanted to be there to protect her son from hurt.

Mental disorders have been known internationally as a significant burden. Yet, not everyone has access to medication. This has created a need for creative ways to close the gap in access to mental health, stimulating interest in innovative digital technologies that deliver on-demand, flexible, and affordable care. 

This is one of the incidents showing the severe effects of playing video games like PlayStation. Equity Kaye of the Supreme Court of Victoria, who articulated the sentence, stated that “It is significant that the sentence that I am forcing on you is adequate to guarantee that you when all is said and done, discover that any further savagery of the sort you have submitted for this situation will have genuine outcomes.”

Video game addiction, also known as gaming disorder or Internet gaming disorder, is commonly characterized as the troublesome, compulsive use of video games that results in severe impairment of an individual’s ability to work in different realms of life over an extended period. Here, the unfortunate child’s life was taken. 


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