A man whose online character was killed in a fire fight playing the computer game ‘Call of Duty’ was so outraged he sought out the teenaged assassin and ‘throttled’ him in a revenge attack, a court heard.
Mark Bradford, 46, was furious after he was gunned down in the interactive game and ”lost it” when the youngster gloated over his online ‘death’.
Bradford stormed around to the youngsters’ house and attacked him in the living room by placing his hands around his throat in a ‘revenge attack’.
The pair were in their respective homes playing on their PlayStations and speaking on microphones over the internet during the war simulation game.
Gareth Warden, prosecuting, said the teenager was at home playing with friends when he called Bradford a name after he ‘killed’ him.
Bradford, who was in his flat in Budeaux, Plymouth, Devon, ‘lost it’ and stormed round to confront the youngster.
Mr Warden said: ”Mr Bradford was killed during the game and the boy called him a name.”
He added that Bradford went to the boy’s address, walked into the front room and grabbed him around the throat with both hands.
Magistrates in Plymouth, Devon, heard how Bradford was pulled off the terrified teenager by the boy’s mother and simply walked away without saying a word.
The youngster, who has not been identified, was left with a scratch and some reddening to the neck following the attack on July 1.
Bradford admitted one count of assault by beating at Plymouth Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
Tracey Baker, mitigating, said Bradford, who had mental health issues, ”just lost it”. He told the court the attack was not planned and was provoked by the name-calling.
Magistrates ordered a probation officer to prepare a full report on his background before he is sentenced.
Bradford was released on unconditional bail to return to court on October 24.
He later said he was being baited over a headset as he played Call of Duty Black Ops.
The single dad-of-three, who lives in a bedsit in Plymouth, Devon, boasted about he had completed the game and revealed he spent ”every minute I can” online.
He said: ”I’d been playing the whole day and he was baiting me and baiting me and just would not shut up.
”He went on and on and I just lost it. I hold my hands up, I lost the plot. In a moment of madness I went round to his house. I didn’t know what I was going to do.
”It wasn’t malice. I just grabbed him. I’ve seen him since and apologised. We’ve played online too. He’s actually a decent kid.
”The injuries weren’t that bad. There was just a scratch on his neck really. I guess they just want compensation.”
Bradford revealed he bought the game as soon as it came out last year, and has since spent every spare minute glued to the screen in his dingy one bed flat.
”I’m actually really good at the game,” he added.
”I’ve completed it and just need to get all the weapons.”
He added: ”I do regret it. What’s said online should stay online. I’ve held my hands up. Now I guess I’ll just have to accept the consequences.”
‘Call of Duty’ features a variety of war scenes and carries an 18 guidance certificate.
Participants combat each other online in real time and can communicate with each other throughout the wargame scenarios.
The game has previously been criticised for brutality and accused of glamourising violence.