A desperate dad shopped his Xbox ‘addict’ son to police after he used his father’s credit card to spend nearly £3,000 on video games.
Horrified Ian Holmes noticed his son Daniel, 20, had made dozens of payments to Microsoft’s Xbox Live network.
Holmes had permission to use the card for his family business but continued to spend his father’s money on gaming points and online subscriptions.
North Devon Magistrates heard the fraud went unnoticed throughout 2013 until Mr Holmes, who did not own an Xbox, noticed the payments on his credit card statement.
Holmes made 77 payments to Xbox Live, adding up to £2,400. With interest this came to a £2,800 bill, the court was told.
Lyndsey Baker, prosecuting, said: “He confronted his son and he admitted it but his father knew he could not pay it.”
Tim Hook, defending, said Holmes had made an investment in his father’s business and had obtained the credit card details legitimately.
Mr Hook said: “The defendant continued to use it, 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 because Holmes was unable to repay the debt at the required rate of #200 a month as he was unemployed.
He added: “It is sad this domestic matter was put to the police.”
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.”
Holmes, of Ilfracombe, Devon, was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and pay compensation of £2,097.88
Presiding magistrate Michael Buckley said: “This is a very sad case.”