While 26-year-old Luke Munday is a self-confessed computer geek, he also has addiction issues with the online video game, Fortnite. When his pregnant girlfriend, asked him during a live stream to take a break from the game an argument ensued which then turned violent.
For most people, hitting another person just for telling them to quit playing a video game is bizarre. But when that person is your life partner and pregnant, it makes such a prospect even more disturbing, and in this case, criminal…
Munday had been into technology and computers for years and even worked for tech giant Cisco. He was also a serious gamer who liked to live stream his Fortnite antics and had a relatively large following of youngsters who liked to watch him play. When his pregnant girlfriend told him it was time to take a break, things took a turn for the worse.
While it came out that Munday, who was called a “hard-working family man” by some, had a history of physically abusing his girlfriend, the local police had to become involved. During this incident, an argument can be heard on the live stream and then a slap is heard off-screen; attributed to Munday lashing out violently at his girlfriend.
The Fortnite game, which is a big hit with youngsters, has come under a lot of scrutiny recently due to addiction issues and other problems. For his part, Munday would often sit for eight hours straight and play the game without a break, leading to tension with his girlfriend. But this wasn’t the first time the pregnant woman had reported her partner to the police.
Back in 2015, the woman had reason to call the cops in Sydney, Australia after she had been hit by her gaming boyfriend. At the time, he was arrested and given an apprehended violence order (AVO) which stood for a year before it was dismissed after she withdrew her complaint.
A few years may have passed since then, but Munday’s gaming addiction seems to have just gotten worse. While Munday’s Fortnite action was being streamed live via the Twitch e-sports video stream, a woman could be heard asking Munday to stop playing the game. To that he is heard responding, “Can you not? I said I’ll be out soon.” But an escalating argument ensued.
To that, the girlfriend responded, “No computer, I’m sick of this s**t,” she said. But it was at that point when the gamer could be seen walking off camera and arguing more. A slap and a scream were then heard by the viewers. “Do they know you touched me and I’m pregnant,” the girlfriend can be heard yelling out in the video. “I hope all of you people know that I’m pregnant and he just bashed me,” she said.
To make the incident even scarier for the live stream viewers, the couples’ other children can be heard in the background screaming and crying as the couple continued to argue. At this point, Munday snapped and screamed, “F*** off you dog, you don’t pay the bills.” This was when the girlfriend called the police.
Soon after the police arrived at the property, he was taken to Narellan Police station for questioning. Once there, he was charged with assault while the stream of his assault had already gone massively viral on Twitter. He was granted conditional bail and was given a court date to appear at the Camden Local Court.
Luckily for Munday, neither his girlfriend or their unborn child weren’t injured during the argument. However, police did take out an interim apprehended violence order for the girlfriend, who was described as “shaken and distressed” but not injured, according to a Daily Mail report.
For his part, Munday said he wanted to create an environment of “financial security” for his family after his father walked out on his family when he was a kid. He was the top ranking Australian at last years Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders Competition, leading him to be offered a job with Telstra. He even gave an interview to the press after the Cisco award, detailing his plans for the future.
As Munday said to reporters at the time, “When my partner fell pregnant with our first child, a lot changes and your responsibilities go through the roof,” he said. “I had that philosophy I wouldn’t let that happen to my own kids.” However, Munday threw a serious spanner in his own plans after the online incident turned violent and he got suspended by Telstra.
Having been approached by reporters, a spokesperson for Telstra spoke about the incident. Telstra General Media Manager Steve Carey said, “This behavior goes against what we stand for as an organization and the work we have done to assist women impacted by domestic violence.” He added, “We have suspended Luke’s employment pending a full investigation and will co-operate with any police investigation.”
Having been contacted by reporters, Munday’s girlfriend said she is willing to give her husband a second chance. Grace Campbell, now 21, is still living in the couple’s Oran Park home with their two children, while Munday is required to stay at least 100m away from her at all times. She wants Munday to enroll in an anger management course if there’s any hope of the couple staying together.
For the Children
Campbell explained to the Daily Mail: “I’ll give him another chance for our kids, but only if he makes the effort and shows real improvement,” she told the publication. “He also needs to address his addiction to the game,” she said. But Campbell also changed her tune a few weeks later saying, “After this, I’ve had enough. I don’t want him near me or the children.”
Campbell’s mother who apparently “despises” Munday, said she supported her daughter’s decision to end the abusive relationship. “I despise him for what he’s done to my daughter. I will never forgive him, and I don’t trust him,” she said. “I don’t care how sorry he is, I’ve heard it all before, and I’m too old to fall for it. She’s a great mum, a loving mum and she’s distraught over what this is doing to the kids.”
Campbell explained that the Fortnite addiction was under control until Munday started getting thousands of followers for his live streams on Twitch. He reportedly had thousands of followers even though his account has now been deleted. “He got famous and started playing six to eight hours a day for his fans,” Campbell said.
Campbell explained that while Munday was a good partner and a loving father, for the most part, his gaming addiction was ruining the family dynamic. “As he got more addicted he changed, he became an angry person. He wasn’t spending enough time with the kids, and it was a struggle every day to get him to leave the computer for anything,” she said.
When Munday faced the Camden Local Court, Steven Mercael from the Australian Criminal Law Group who is representing him said they were seeking an adjournment for the 26-year-old, requesting he be excused from his forthcoming court date. “There is a lot of attention around this case,” Mercael said. “On the alleged victim, and the client.”
The lay of the land isn’t boding well for Munday after it was revealed that he had been charged two times previously for domestic violence. “The accused has been charged on two previous occasions in 2011 for malicious damage and common assault, both of which were not domestic related,” court documents read. These previous convictions mean that Munday could face a prison sentence if convicted again on domestic violence charges.
This troubling story highlights the issues that many families around the world are facing due to people becoming addicted to online gaming. Fornite specifically has been targeted as problematic as the free-to-play platform brings players from around the world together to compete online in real time, meaning it’s not possible to pause the game for food or water breaks or to use the bathroom. It remains to be seen what will happen to Luke Munday as his case comes to court in Sydney in the next few weeks.