A gaming addicted father from Victoria pleaded guilty over the death of his own son as he lashed out at the child out of frustration while in the midst of a Playstation game.
Joseph William McDonald, 23, was charged with one count of child homicide after his newborn baby Lucas was unable to be revived for sustaining a severe head injury at his home in Benalla, Victoria on October 24 last year.
Weeks before the incident, the court found that McDonald had been searching for treatment for anger management issues over the internet.
He had also sent an apology message to his partner Samantha Duckmanton, for being the “worst father” and the “worst partner”.
McDonald had also told her that he would put her and their children first, and “instantly hated” himself for what he did to her.
On the day of the incident, Duckmanton was at the kitchen when she overheard her son making a high pitch wailing noise.
McDonald was in the lounge room with baby Lucas at that time, while he was playing a Playstation game.
When asked about the baby’s cry, he told her that he was “swaddling him”.
Since the baby had his vaccinations at the same day, Duckmanton thought that he was simply having an adverse reaction, including his refusal to drink milk.
However, baby Lucas had not had any improvements overnight, prompting the mother to call the hospital multiple times before bringing him to the emergency ward at Benalla hospital.
The boy was later transferred to the Monash Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead on October 29.
Police prosecutor Mark Gibson told the court that medical evidence suggested that the boy’s injuries were consistent with shaking or blunt force trauma.
“You have completely broken my trust — you have absolutely betrayed me,” the mother said in a victim impact statement read out in court.
“Lucas deserved to feel safe and protected by his daddy. You do not deserve forgiveness — nor do you deserve the title of daddy.”