A thought about the feral “gamer” that bashed the baby’s skull in

Just to refresh your memory

Bird’s offending occurred on November 1, 2013, after the mother of the then nearly five-week-old baby boy had spent the night caring for her son at their Central Hawke’s Bay home.

She woke Bird about 6.30am and asked him to care for their baby, who was asleep in a bassinet, so she could rest, court documents said.

At some time between 6.30am and 10am, while the baby was in his sole care, Bird caused what a doctor said was “non-accidental trauma and extremely unusual for a five-week-old infant”.

It was also during this period that Bird, who is studying computer science at Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), began playing the graphic video game The Walking Dead.

The game is described online as a “survival game in the midst of a zombie apocalypse”.

The boy’s grandmother, who called the incident a “complete horror story”, arrived at the home at 10.40am when Bird told her his son had “punched himself” and suffered a bruised eye. Bird then left for class at EIT.

“She became concerned and continued to observe [her grandson] who appeared to be distressed,” court documents revealed.

The baby was taken to the family GP at 1pm, before being taken immediately to Hawke’s Bay Hospital.

When assessed by a psychologist, Bird said he had no independent memory of the incident and described the violent outburst as “in a dream”.

Bird’s lawyer Richard Stone said a defence based on automatism – an act performed unconsciously – was hard to prove but he urged the judge to consider the psychiatric report when sentencing his client.

Judge Mackintosh said Bird was a keen gamer who would often stay awake into the early hours of the morning playing video games.

Bird said he was “extremely tired and hallucinating” during the incident, the judge said.

The thing not reported now, but was a while ago, is that doctors said that the damage to baby’s skull wasn’t from a single occurrence.  Some of the fractures had healed and were healing from previous impacts.

He’s been done on the latest one, it seems clear to me that Bird had a habit of punching the baby in the face to make the crying stop.

The only way to do that is to knock baby unconscious.

Four years is not enough.

Devon Ashley Bird is a monster.


– Sam Hurley, Hawkes Bay Today


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  • SlightlyStrange

    I think Monster is too polite a term.

  • Falcor

    I sometimes just sit and look at the face of my grandson or granddaughter and I can not for the life of me understand how someone could take to that with violence

  • Gaynor

    A 5 week old baby with “old” injuries.. ?
    Did anything like this happen in the past?
    When did this violence towards babies and children start happening?

    • About the same time as the benefit / wages, became a career
      option . . . .

      • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

        and not long after the cane was abolished in high schools . . . .

        And I know – I only ever had to use it once, for fighting in the metalwork shop at Huntly High. Announced it was 4 each, gave 2 then a lecture and when it came to the remaining 2 they begged, so let them off – they were not about to tell their mates either.
        A bit of mercy worked wonders, never any more trouble ever.

  • Skydog

    I think it’s time penalties were stated with a minimum and with a maximum term, so then every one knows what you are in for if you do a particular act. If a jury finds the accused guilty then it is for the jury to decide on the penalty. Why can we not be trialed and sentenced by our peers? The jury hears the case so they will know the mitigating and aggravating factors to consider at sentencing.

    • DavidW

      It would certainly give an incentive to really try for a “not guilty” verdict rather than to enter pleas with mitigation due to circumstances which mean that the accused was – drunk, wasted, in a zombie-like state, sleepwalking, insane etc.

  • mike

    Why bring gaming into the discussion? The guy is scum plain and simple. What he was doing doesn’t matter, neither does his race or religion or gender. Scum is scum that’s all their is to it. The sooner we accept that as fact and stop allowing people to blame something or someone else for their actions the better.

    The headline should read “Baby beating scum jailed”

    • BlitzkriegNZ

      It’s not click bait without the word gamer pointlessly thrown in there. Half the population qualify as gamers according to some studies these days.

  • oldmanNZ

    Studying computer science? most of the time he is tired and playing games. doubt he will pass. another deadbeat getting a study grant.

    a keen gamer? more like a addicted compulsive gamer who act out fantasy.

    Just like being addicted to drugs, alcohol or other vices, he is not in control.

    • mike

      Rubbish. Sorry but we use the word addiction to much… Call it what it is, a complete lack out morals and respect.

  • Any “man” that beats children, woman or animals should have to spend the first 5 years of their 20 year prison sentence in a prison somewhere in outer mongolia or similar, so as to provide the individual a sense of context about just how “good” they have it living… and to be living in NZ.

    • Pita

      He would have probably got more if he’d smacked the child…

    • Bartman

      A much cheaper option would be to house them in Spartan conditions on the southern slopes of Mt Ruapehu. Having spent some quality time there at NZDF basic training, I can vouch it’s every bit a cold and forbidding as any foreign option, would be well away from the public eye, and could be great to have them breaking rocks and digging holes / planting trees for the benefit of the economy. On that subject, why the heck do prisoners in general not carry out work for the public purse, like cleaning up the highways and byways of the roading system of the decades of rubbish ejected from cars.

      • Because unless they’re all chained together in a chain gang – it would be too easy for them to run away. Plus someone has to *supervise* them…

        Tidying up waterways / picking up rubbish would be another great use of their time – alas, too many would escape and ruin it for the rest of them…

      • Aucky

        Those institutions were called Hautu and Rangipo but they probably don’t exist anymore. If they do they will be namby pamby outfits all about rehabilitation and other liberal nonsense. Harvesting swedes, cutting wood and clearing scrub used to be the order of the day – a midwinter experience not to be repeated. I was working at The Chateau at the time and remember the trusties delivering and collecting the hotel laundry that used to be done at the prison.

    • I liker your quotation marks there, personally I think any adult male that would attack a woman or particularly a child should have their Man Club Membership Card pulled permanently.

    • Michael_l_c

      I have always thought that White Island needed a prison.Would that satisfy?

      • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

        White Island is too close to shore, unscheduled visits from family & friends, etc. etc.
        Instead of another one in South Auckland, try the Auckland Islands. Then the Campbell Islands. (but obviously the greenies would object)

  • Popliteal

    The sleazebag defence seems to consist of blaming a game for giving a baby multiple fractures on several occasions. The force involved in producing such injuries is enormous.

    To imply computer gaming is responsible for the offending is akin to
    blaming serial killing on reading Patricia Cornwell novels.

    Honest to god, which hat do these lawyers pull their offensively absurd arguments from? And why do they seem to work on some judges? (Not this judge, thank god).

  • Well it works with everybody else, if you want them to shutup you just hit them in the head, why wouldn’t it work with a baby? Scumbag needs to learn there is always somebody bigger than him who hits harder, then he might f**king learn.

    • Reaper

      I daresay if he doesn’t know that already, he will be finding out pretty soon. I don’t think baby bashers are very popular in prison.

  • timemagazine

    Why didn’t he get home detention? After all the baby is still alive. Unbelievable. These judges are living in parallel universes it seams.

  • Catriona

    He spruced himself up for his Court appearance. I saw a picture of him posted somewhere else and I can’t believe it is the same person.
    He is useless, low-life mongrel who ought to be neutered.
    He is unfit to ever be a decent human being, let alone be a father to some poor little unfortunate whose stupid mother had no sense or taste or brains when it came to picking someone good to go forth and multiply with.
    So this poor wee baby, through no fault of his own, will now have learning difficulties for the rest of his life – thanks Dad!

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Thanks for the update but honestly how can four years be sufficient for such a crime?

  • Mick Ie

    I will grudgingly accept 4 years as long as they put him in general population for the duration of his sentence.

  • Does anyone know which exact game the useless MSM blamed for this atrocity?

    This Feral deserves to rot.

    Being a gamer since 1980, I am perplexed as to why the idiots, trained and skilled, have repeatedly emphasised the gamer tag.

    Outrage? Agenda? Sounds familiar.

    Scum like this kill babys because they are scum, not because of the media they enjoy.

    • danielnz

      They can point to gaming being the cause, because no one beat babies until Nintendo and Sega started making people do it.