Furious: Mark Bradford, 46, attacked the teenager after being ‘killed’ by the schoolboy in an online game of Call of Duty
A middle-aged man charged round to the house of a schoolboy and throttled him after his online character was killed during a game of Call Of Duty, a court heard.
Mark Bradford, 46, was furious when he was gunned down in the war simulation by the 13-year-old, and ‘lost it’ when the youngster goaded him over his online death.
Unemployed father of three Bradford stormed from his bedsit in Plymouth, Devon, and confronted the youngster at the boy’s friend’s house by placing his hands round the schoolboy’s neck.
The pair had been playing Call Of Duty: Black Ops against each other online and talking using microphones.
The attack ended when the teenager’s horrified mother pulled Bradford off the boy, who was left scratched and with reddening to the neck.
Plymouth Magistrates heard that Bradford then simply walked away without saying a word.
The boy, who cannot be identified, said: ‘I was just sat playing. We’d had a bit of a joke and then he stormed in and grabbed me.
‘I didn’t know what was going on.’
Gareth Warden, prosecuting, said the teenager was playing the game at a friend’s house when he called Bradford a name after he ‘killed’ him.
He added that Bradford went to a nearby house where the boy was playing, walked into the front room and grabbed him around the throat with both hands.
The teenager’s mother, 33, said: ‘It’s pathetic that a grown man would attack a defenceless child like this.
‘If you can’t handle losing to a child then you shouldn’t be playing games.’
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.
‘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 war game scenarios.
Guilty: Bradford admitted one assault charge at Plymouth Magistrates Court
Bradford admitted the attack was ‘moment of madness’ as the child ‘would not shut up’.
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.’
Bradford admitted one count of assault by beating at Plymouth Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
Bradford is thought to be a loosely-connected friend of the boy’s family