In sentencing 19 year-old Ryan Chinnery to an indefinite prison term last week, judge Philip Statman said, "It is right to observe there is a worrying mirror of conduct between that which the pornography presented to you and that which you carried out."*
Chinnery - who apparently lead a basically normal life working at a groundsman and living with his girlfriend - was convicted on two charges of sexual assault carried out last year. Two more charges remain on file.
Most of the mainstream media coverage has, however, concentrated on the fact that the youth played a version of Grand Theft Auto
. This, according to prosecuting counsel, Eleanor Laws, "may go some way to explaining his attitude towards women".**
Judge Statman also brought up the subject of the video game, saying, "I know part of this case referred to something called Grand Theft Auto
"While it appears the defendant does not accept it influenced his conduct on that particular evening, it could not have helped him, I would have thought, in all the circumstances of the case."***
That evening had apparently seen Chinnery prowling "an area around his home in Ashford, Kent, in his car late at night, high on cannabis and alcohol..." **
As far as we understand it, GTA
-related crimes now include:Teens' Molotov cocktail spree
.Thai taxi driver murder.US Homicide.
.Bomb hoax call.Tyrone McMillan outruns police.Nathan Branco and the Grand Theft Auto Gang.
In terms of being blamed not just for single crimes - and now attitudes towards women - the GTA series is now ahead of Counter-Strike
and Mortal Kombat
as the blame game.Sources:
* Bexhill-on-Sea Observer.
** The Daily Telegraph
*** Kentish Express