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Xbox Live 'gambling' sees father take son to court

By NDJJosephW  |  Posted: August 17, 2014

By Joseph Wilkes, digital reporter, in court

Xbox

Xbox gaming sees father take son to court.

A DAD took his son to court for spending £2,400 on Xbox Live with his credit card.

Daniel Holmes, 20, of High Street, Ilfracombe, used his dad’s card for all of 2013 playing on the online multiplayer video games service, which charges subscription but also allows the buying and selling of points earnt through gaming and games.

North Devon Magistrates’ Court heard dad Ian had lived with his ex-partner and Holmes but left and some of his mail was still sent to the address.

Ian, who did not own a video games console, was alerted to multiple payments from his account to Microsoft Xbox Live, the highest being £63.99.

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A look at Holmes’ Facebook page showed him advertising 1,000,000 Xbox points for sale.

Lyndsey Baker, for the prosecution, said: “He confronted his son and he admitted it, but his father knew he could not pay it.”

In total 77 payments were made to Xbox Live, adding up to £2,400. With interest this came to a £2,800 bill.

Mrs Baker said Holmes obtained his father’s credit card details with consent, so had not acted fraudulently from outset, but she added the fraud took place over a significant period of time.

Tim Hook, for the defence, said Holmes had made an investment in his father’s business and had obtained the credit card details.

Mr Hook said: “The defendant continued to use it with authority, on each occasion buying Xbox games and carrying on a form of gambling which increased into a relatively substantial sum.

“His father asked him to repay it, he said he was extremely annoyed and ‘could hit him’.”

Mr Hook told the court the matter had only come before them was because Holmes had been unable at the time to repay the debt at the required rate of £200 a month, as he was unemployed.

“It is sad this domestic matter was put to the police”, added Mr Hook.

The court heard from probation officer Mel Wright, who said: “It seemed he got hooked on what he was doing, he got deeper and deeper.”

Presiding magistrate Michael Buckley said: “This is a very sad case.”

But he said he would impose a community order, “as the offence is so serious”.

Holmes was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and pay compensation of £2,097.88

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