An Australian gamer will be jailed for two years for armed robbery after using the novel defence that he and his friends had been trying to re-enact the game Grand Theft Auto while drunk.
He pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault charge.
Kristian Allan Coulter Scott was one of three men who held up a service station last year. Scott threatened the station attendant while one juvenile accomplice did likewise with a knife and a second juvenile kept watch outside. The three made off with cash and cigarettes.
Scott had drunk rather a lot of alcohol at the time of the incident by his own admission, and - according to the judge - was "likely affected by cannabis".
South Australia, where the crime took place, permits residents to grow one cannabis plant and to possess up to 100 grams of leaf or 20 grams of resin. The State has, however, made it illegal to cultivate cannabis hydroponically, after previous versions of its laws led to super-strong weed becoming worryingly prevalent within its borders.
Scott's defence, according ABC News, relied in part on an assertion he “tried to emulate or replicate the [video] game in real life”.
Judge Paul Rice of the Adelaide District Court was having none of that, remarking: "That game is a well-known and well-used game and this is the first time I've heard it said that it may have been the basis upon or the reason for which an offender then went on to rob a service station.”
Scott's accomplices were dealt with by children's courts, with the knife-wielder copping a month in juvie and the lookout receiving a suspended sentence.
Scott was sentenced to four years and 11 months, at least two years of which will be "non-parole" (actually in jail), with Judge Rice suggesting time inside is deserved because the service station attendant has suffered psychological problems in the wake of the robbery. ®