Fortnite streamer Luke ‘MrDeadMoth’ Munday, who assaulted his pregnant partner while streaming the battle royale game on Twitch has escaped a jail sentence, after claiming his actions were made in “excessive self-defense.”
The 27-year-old pleaded guilty to physically assaulting his former partner just out of frame during one of his broadcasts in December 2018.
Munday's partner, who was heavily pregnant with their third child, repeatedly asked him to stop his broadcast and come to dinner, distracting him from the game.
He then left his desk, and moved out of camera-shot, where she and at least one child could be heard yelling and screaming while he spoke.
He returned to his desk momentarily, before standing up a second time and attacking his partner, again out of frame. She threw objects at him, before Munday struck her across the left side of her face, and then pushed her to the ground.
Munday, who his lawyer Steven Mercael argued was a “loving, caring person with no history of domestic violence,” was sentenced to a 14-month community corrections order at Picton Local Court on Wednesday morning, as reported by the ABC.
Mr. Mercael argued that the former Telstra employee, who lost his job and is reportedly unemployed “because of media coverage,” was acting in “excessive self-defense,” and said Munday had been subject to domestic violence himself.
The Sydney local's lawyer added that this ongoing abuse from partner Grace Campbell caused the streamer to "snap."
Magistrate Mark Douglass recorded the conviction, added a good behavior condition as part of the sentencing, and revealed that he would have sent Munday to jail for an extended period of time “if not for submissions made on his behalf.”
He also directed his closing statement towards Munday, and reminded him that he had assaulted his pregnant partner in clear view of his two children.
“There’s no need to do great research to find that children who witness domestic violence struggle,” he added when handing down the sentencing. “It has a real impact on them. The response was not appropriate, unlawful, and violent.”
Following the sentencing, Mr. Mercael added that Munday was “remorseful” for his actions, and told the court that the Fortnite streamer had been paying for accommodation for his ex-partner and children.
“He’s disgusted with his behavior, he’s ashamed,” his lawyer said. “It is irresponsible behavior. He takes complete responsibility for what occurred. He sobbed, and wept when he saw messages of abuse from the public.”
Following Munday’s allegations that he too had been assaulted, which sparked his violent on-stream outburst, NSW Police investigated his partner, Ms. Campbell. She has now also been charged with common assault.
"The woman allegedly assaulted the man, and he sustained minor injuries," according to a statement by NSW Police last week. It is alleged the main assault from Ms. Campbell came when she threw a kettle at Munday.
Ms. Campbell was charged with two counts of common assault, domestic violence assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and contravening a domestic AVO. She was granted bail, and must regularly report to Campbelltown police station.
Mr. Munday has been permanently banned from streaming on Twitch since December 2018, and is unlikely to have his restrictions lifted by the broadcasting platform following his sentencing.
Domestic Violence Hotlines:
- USA: 1-800-799-7233
- UK: 0808-2000-247
- Australia: 1800-737-732