Teenager killed himself after $700 bill for Xbox games on mother's credit card

Like all good things, gaming is best enjoyed responsibly, although as with anything else, many of us over-indulge our gaming appetites from time to time. But as we have seen in endless reports of kids racking up huge bills in mobile apps, children cannot always be trusted to act responsibly when it comes to gaming.

This reality was tragically hammered home this week as an inquest opened into the death of 13-year-old Henry Tattersall from Lancashire, United Kingdom.

The inquest heard that the boy had racked up a bill of £420 GBP (around $700 USD) on his mother’s credit card, purchasing games for his Xbox. He was said to be upset after being confronted by his mother, Eve, about the sizeable bill. She told the inquest that Henry was "genuinely stunned" by how much money he had spent on gaming purchases. He had even told his mother to take the money from his savings to make up for it. 

Henry later spoke with his girlfriend on Facebook in a conversation that included discussion of Declan Gatenby - a 13-year-old friend who had hanged himself earlier in the year. After speaking with his girlfriend more about his situation, he told her on Facebook, “I’m going to kill myself.” He immediately proceeded to do so, and his body was found minutes later. 

The teenager’s death actually took place in November last year, but the details have only recently been made public in the inquest. The coroner recorded a verdict of misadventure, suggesting that Henry may not have intended to actually kill himself. Henry suffered from ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and a 'vast range' of behavioural problems.

Source: Rossendale Free Press via ITV News | image via Rossendale Free Press/Facebook

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He could have asked for it once and then had the details saved. After that he no longer needed the physical card and the mother would never have known. Or like me he could have just asked for it. I was able to use my parents' card every once in a while with permission. The mother clearly did monitor its use as she confronted her son about the charges.

It isn't the mother's fault though. The CC charges was just the last straw for this poor kid. It is definitely clear that he had other issues.

mnl1121 said,
He could have asked for it once and then had the details saved. After that he no longer needed the physical card and the mother would never have known. Or like me he could have just asked for it. I was able to use my parents' card every once in a while with permission. The mother clearly did monitor its use as she confronted her son about the charges.

It isn't the mother's fault though. The CC charges was just the last straw for this poor kid. It is definitely clear that he had other issues.


If i would have asked my mother for stuff like this at that age, then she would have said no right away, she was being responsible, as was i.

soldier1st said,

If i would have asked my mother for stuff like this at that age, then she would have said no right away, she was being responsible, as was i.

Don't get me wrong. My mom said no most of the time lol. There were a few exceptions. If I wanted to I could have saved all the information and used it any time I wanted to though. Just like this kid could have.

Very sad news indeed.
My deepest condolences to the family.
There should be implemented some sort of confirmation method for the owner of the card when the credit is used. Even if only applied to values above a specific value.

MidnightDevil said,
Very sad news indeed.
My deepest condolences to the family.
There should be implemented some sort of confirmation method for the owner of the card when the credit is used. Even if only applied to values above a specific value.

I don't feel for the kid, maybe for the family. Something could have been done, yet it was not, and look what happened.

Reminds me when I was a teenager and one of my friends that suffered from bipolar disorder stole his moms credit card and ran up like a 1200 dollar bill with car crap and she confronted him and grounded him for a month and th next day he wanted to goto the homecoming football game she refused and after a big fight he killed himself while she was out on a walk to calm down.

The problem in some families where money is tight and something like this happens, the parents go over the top in order to punish the kid. In some cases where the parent does extreme punishments leaves the kid feeling like there is no way out, and as a result, in some cases, this happens.

OK, kid wasn't wrapped too tight to begin with obviously, but it is sad that it came to this - though the xbox game buying wasn't really a factor in the real issue, it was an unfortunate catalyst to drive a troubled teen into the arms of death.

I feel for the parents. Wonder if MS will allow them to reverse the charges and return the games?

Skin said,
OK, kid wasn't wrapped too tight to begin with obviously, but it is sad that it came to this - though the xbox game buying wasn't really a factor in the real issue, it was an unfortunate catalyst to drive a troubled teen into the arms of death.

I feel for the parents. Wonder if MS will allow them to reverse the charges and return the games?


Knowing MS, i bet 75/25 where MS won't. if this were apple, then no would be the only answer.

naap51stang said,
Sounds like this kid had more problems than just spending that much on xbox games.

he needed help early on, which he clearly did not receive.

This is why having a credit/debit card attached to a points based system isn't a good idea if you have children, It's easy for the young to get carried away without realising how many £$ the points translate too.

I doubt a kid with an attention deficit will pay that much attention
Next > Next > Next > Game

Personally I would attach a prepaid debit card to consoles and transfer the money over when needed, they cant spend what they don't have!

Louisifer said,
I doubt a kid with an attention deficit will pay that much attention
Next > Next > Next > Game

Personally I would attach a prepaid debit card to consoles and transfer the money over when needed, they cant spend what they don't have!


I agree on the prepaid debit card part.

They love trying to say kids have that ADHD thing when all it is lack of discipline. The belt could have solved this problem years ago and it never would have gotten to this point. If you put fear in kids early on you won't have problems like this. I have cousins whose mom's claim the kids have ADHD. I had to watch her kids one day. And within 5 minutes of her leaving they were perfect little angels. All because I put fear in them.

Stupid kid. he should have been more responsible and not rack up such a high bill. Kids these days don't think. They only do and blame others(not always, but that's the trend). if some1 knew of his condition, they could have kept an eye on him.

Wow. Some of the replies here...

13 years old, £420 ($700) debt that he didn't realise that he had racked up. We can sit here as adults and say, "this isn't good, but things happen. Learn from your mistakes." I've paid for a taxi ride that cost more and I've regretted it.
The difference is that I am in control of my finances, and when I make a stupid decision I realise that either I can sort myself out or I can rely on the kindness of friends and family to understand my position and help me help myself. As the article points out, the child had a similar mentality of realising that he had screwed up and he wanted to make amends.

He wasn't stupid, he felt personal pressure and reacted in an unnecessary way. Everyone has those moments where they want the ground to swallow them whole to get out of something, yet we go through it and come out the other side. Instead he acted on his knee-jerk reaction and now can't take it back.

A terrible piece of news, such a shame.

God that's put a lump in my throat, the poor kid. Thankfully I am sensible when it comes to finances. If you haven't got it, then you can't spend it. But my heart goes out to the poor parents.

I wish I never read that now... It's articles like these that stick in your mind. This will play on my mind now...

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