Man Jailed For Life Over Murder Of Xbox-Interrupting Child

Man Jailed For Life Over Murder Of Xbox-Interrupting Child

Gary Alcock was playing video games in his girlfriend’s flat in Oldham, England, in January, when the woman’s 15-month-old daughter interrupted him with her crying. His reaction was swift, brutal and ultimately deadly.

That evening Alcock struck young Violet Mullen in the stomach hard enough to rupture her internal organs, placed her back in her cot, and waited for her mother, 22-year-old Claire Flanagan to return home. He later called an ambulance, telling them the child had blue lips and looked “spaced out”.

Paramedics were called to the scene, but their efforts could not save Violet. The child died from internal bleeding at the Royal Oldham Hospital.

At her trial, Claire Flanagan told the court she’d seen no signs of abuse of her child by Alcock.

The court heard evidence that the child had suffered at least three separate assaults before she died. A post-mortem investigation discovered more than 35 different injuries on Violet’s face and body, including rib fractures, bruises and brain damage.

Alcock, 28, had moved in with Flanagan a mere 48 hours after they started dating. A former girlfriend described him as “possessive and controlling”, with a tendency towards violence during arguments. His rage was reportedly enhanced by his use of steroids to help him bulk up while exercising.

Claire Flanagan was recently found not guilty of murder, but guilty of causing or allowing the death. She’ll be jailed for five years.

Judge Clement Goldstole spared no words while sentencing Alcock.

“You, Gary Alcock, subjected her to repeated violence. You caused injuries to her brain, face, arms and legs with a combination of punches, slaps and – bordering on the sadistic – pinches.

“This was the way you chose to cope with a demanding little girl who demanded your attention and interrupted your time-consuming hobby of playing computer games.”

Alcock put Violet to bed on the day that he killed her, “no doubt in the hope that you would have some time free to indulge your desire to play on your X-Box”.

He continued: “Violet was sick, she required changing, she required your time and patience.

“You lost control and your temper in the most unimaginable way. You struck her first in the mouth and then inexplicably and with savage force in the stomach.”

Alcock received life in prison for the heinous act, and must serve at least 21 years before being considered for parole.

It’s a tragic tale about a violent man and a woman so desperate for companionship she’d put her child in harm’s way. It’s happened before, and it will, unfortunately, likely happen again.

One might ask why we’re even posting a story like this, with such a tenuous connection to gaming. Judging by the headlines we’re seeing in the news media, maybe the connection isn’t as tenuous as it seems.

‘Bully’ Killed Girl For Interrupting Xbox Fun [Sky News]

Gary Alcock murdered baby Violet because her crying interrupted his X-Box game [The Telegraph]

Man killed tot who interrupted X-Box playing [Cnews]

Xbox Obsessed Man Gets Life Sentence For Brutally Beating Baby Girl Who Interrupted His Video Game [TransWorldNews]

Gary Alcock gets life in prison for brutally beating baby who interrupted his video game playing [NY Daily News]

U.K. Man Gets Life for Killing Girl Who Interrupted Him Playing Xbox [Fox News]

Life for thug Gary Alcock who battered girlfriend’s baby to death after her crying kept interrupting his computer games [The Mirror]


  • Yeah, the note about the headlines makes me angry. He was on steroids, why aren’t we blaming the chemicals he’s actually putting into his body that literally change his physiology in a way that has been demonstratively linked to aggression?? Fucking mainstream media really is a waste of time all too often.

    • Are you SERIOUS?! Stop trying to shift the blame from your hobby to someone else’s. Do you really think steroids make people kill babies? Do you really think video games make people kill babies? Do you think this down-and-outer’s poor education made him kill babies? It’s highly likely it was a combination of all three plus a severe psychological problem but in the end; it’s a person that killed this baby – not a lifestyle, up-bringing, hobby or substance.

    • Because video games make for a much more catching headline than steroids. Some people are stupid and will always focus on the thing they don’t understand or are prejudiced against.

      That poor little girl. I can’t imagine the things she went through. No-one should have to go through that. I’m glad this pathetic excuse for a human is going to jail for a long time. I wouldn’t want to be in his position, that’s for sure. From what I’ve heard, child killers have a very miserable time in jail.

    • You always here guns kill people. Now its video games, music, and other stuff. When are people going to sit down and figure it out. People kill people. Society has its effects, parents have their effects. But you have to blame humanity in whole for what it has created.

  • A man who abuses drugs and has a history of violence and anger issues strikes again, tragically ending a child’s life.

    “What? That won’t sell! What the hell do we pay you for!? Find something worth writing about!”

    “How about ‘Gaming addict kills child for interrupting Xbox session?'”

    “Brilliant! For that, you get a pay raise! Now get it on the front page of every paper and have ten thousand copies printed by tomorrow morning!”

  • Its amazing they continually want to blame video games for people violent outbursts.

    Some people are just sadistic psychopaths, or have their tendencies exacerbated by the use of drugs or alcohol.

    Yet its always the games that get blamed.

    • 1. If you really “[didn’t] want to be a dick”, you wouldn’t have said that and you wouldn’t’ve posted Anonymously due to knowing what a dick thing it was to say.

      2. No, it does not fucking apply. As a parent who cares deeply for the safety of his child, I hope someday you find something that causes you the deep anguish that the loss of a child would bring to a loving parent. Maybe then you’ll realise that being a dick on the Internet one time doesn’t make you so fucking cool.

  • You gotta admit though, with the massive number of game-related violence stories showing up these days, how often do you hear stories about people killing people over books? Or watching TV? Or playing chess? Maybe it reflects more on the kind of people who play games than the games themselves, but these stories are getting WAY too common for it to be just a coincidence or media spin.

    • I think its more a case of Video games being more prevalent and widespread in the community these days so more people play them more and more often. The media use it in the headline because its a good head line. A head line is meant to get you to read the story and they know any parent with a kid who games is going to read that article.
      They key point to keep front of mind though is just because a person plays video games and also does a disgusting violent act doesn’t mean that the video games caused it.

  • “One might ask why we’re even posting a story like this, with such a tenuous connection to gaming. Judging by the headlines we’re seeing in the news media, maybe the connection isn’t as tenuous as it seems.”

    You are correct, one might ask that. This doesn’t have a link to gaming and posting it on Kotaku didn’t enrich anyone’s time here. But it is inflammatory and sensational, something trolls and garbage media outlets are good at promoting ahead of news with substance and relevance. I hope the hits you get from this are worth it.

    • It shouldn’t matter what game he was playing at the time, the reason he hit her in the first place was because she was distracting him from his game – sure he was on steroids and from what I can tell his personality wasn’t the nicest either, but it is what it is – if he was doing anything else that takes focus he probably would of reacted the same, to him she was just some annoying distraction..

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