Video game addiction and love for Xbox have cost a soldier his career and reputation.
A British soldier has been kicked out of the military after he was caught to have stolen a colleague’s bank card to buy FIFA points for his Xbox.
The soldier who is identified as Private Lewis Billam bought £216 worth of the virtual currency used in the popular football video game from his colleague’s money.
According to court documents from the Bulford Military Court, the 27-year-old bought three lots of £71.99 FIFA points packs on his colleague Private Megan Martin’s card. The £71.99 packs give players 12,000 points which can be spent in the game. The points can buy ‘FUT packs’ which allow players to build a squad of footballers or ‘FUT Draft’ which lets players pick the best fit for each position from a five-player draw.
After stealing Pvt Martin’s card at a party, Pvt Billam also purchased £16 worth of items at a local garage. How gross!
The cat was let out of the bag when everyone who attended the party in March 2020 was rounded up and asked to show their Xbox account history – if they had one.
Pte Billam was exposed when he showed his account it had been used to make the three transactions and he was then found in possession of the card. Before this incident, Pte Billam used another colleague’s card to buy £227 worth of items in Tesco.
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In August 2019, Pte Billam approached Lance Corporal Joshua Gibbon and asked to borrow his card to buy cigarettes and a drink, promising to return the card later. But instead of cigarettes and a drink, Pte Billam bought something worth £101 and another item worth £126.
This is just a clear case of a criminal in an Army uniform.
The court heard that Pte Billam’s excessive consumption of alcohol had led him to have little or no money in the past.
Judge Advocate Alistair McGrigor told Pte Billam that he would be dismissed from the military as it was clear the army no longer wanted to keep him on.
He said: ‘Soldiers who steal from colleagues undermine the respect and comradeship that is the basis of service life.’
Pte Billam, of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, told the court he ‘sincerely apologized’ for what he had done after previously pleading guilty to three charges of fraud.
He said: ‘The things that I did were not acceptable and I do sincerely apologize.’ As well as being kicked out of the army, Pte Billam was ordered to repay the full amount of the money he took from Pvt Martin and LCpl Gibbon and received a 12-month service community order with a 30 days rehab activity requirement.
For most players irrespective of their ages who play video games, they do it for fun – a way to relax, connect with friends, and enjoy a challenge. Unfortunately, for some players, a video game hobby can escalate into an addictive disorder that takes over their lives.
We hope this serves as a lesson to everyone/anyone who has also become addicted to video games.