The mother of the U.K.'s "most violent teenage murderer" is claiming in a newspaper article that videogames are responsible for turning her son into a killer.
Lorraine Harling claims in the tabloid sleaze-rag News of the World article that she and her husband had no idea of the "well of savagery" that had built up in their son Stuart. "Stuart never gave us any reason to think he was violent at all," she said. "He was a very normal boy - quiet and reserved. I used to call him 'my little professor.'"
Stuart Harling, 18, was convicted two weeks ago of the murder of nurse Cheryl Moss, who he stabbed 72 times while she was on a smoke break. According to the article, the attack took place "just like he'd PRACTICED on the PlayStation in his bedroom."
"I knew he was playing the videogames but we didn't really know what went on in them, how brutal and graphic they were," his mother said. She also claimed to be ignorant of the age rating systems for videogames, saying, "Stuart was 11 or 12 when I bought him the PlayStation. For a long time I didn't even realize games had age limits on them. We'd just buy him the game that all the other kids had."
During his trial, it was revealed that before the murder, which took place while his parents were vacationing in Spain, Harling had spent days online talking to pedophiles and researching serial killers. He also behaved disruptively throughout the trial, uttering threats and obscenities.
"I know these games are played by kids across the world, but some are truly horrific," his mother said. "And if they can cause a trigger to be pulled in someone's head they should be banned."
"I was his mother, but I'd no idea what was happening," she added.