Pokemon Cards Killed A Man, Here’s How

A man in Sheffield bludgeoned a neighbor to death with a bag filled with tins of Pokemon cards.

By Jason Collins | Updated

Pokemon cards

We haven’t heard about any Pokemon card-related incidents for a while now, but that changed earlier this year in a murder case in which Pokemon cards were used as a weapon. Unfortunately, this bizarre case isn’t an isolated incident involving the Pokemon franchise—a few years back, a man pulled a gun at a group of people at a Target parking lot over a dispute involving trading cards, resulting in Pokemon cards being pulled from shelves at major retailers for safety concerns, and LAPD fired two officers for not responding to a distress call because of Pokemon Go.

However, it would seem that this case is somewhat different since the cards actually aren’t the cause of the unfortunate event—which is usually the case—but a bludgeoning weapon used to end a life. According to Kotaku, 31-year-old Andrew Hague murdered his 50-year-old neighbor Simon Wilkinson. Both were residents of an apartment building in Sheffield and had gotten in an altercation in which Wilkinson called Hague a pedophile, after which Hague struck Wilkinson several multiple times with a bag filled with tins containing Pokemon cards.

Pokemon cards

After incapacitating Wilkinson with Pokemon cards, Hague took a nearby piece of wood and inflicted catastrophic injuries by hitting the victim in the head multiple times—believing that he was committing an act of “mercy.” Wilkinson was pronounced dead at the scene, and Hague, who has previous convictions for violence due to a history of mental health problems, later accepted the responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty to murder in March this year.

The psychiatric report concluded that Hague’s mental illness, made worse by his refusal to take prescribed medication, wasn’t severe enough to have affected his ability to understand his behavior or exercise self-control. It was also noted that cannabis use influenced his judgment at the time of the killing. The judge noted that this should be a stark reminder of the dangers of cannabis use among individuals with complex mental health histories. The Pokemon card-wielding perpetrator was convicted to life in prison, with a minimum sentence of 17 years before being eligible for parole.

As stated before, this isn’t an isolated incident, and Pokemon cards actually have a history of violent incidents revolving around them. The release of Pokemon cards in the late 1990s sparked a massive card craze which led to stores running out of stock and fights breaking out among collectors. At the same time, authorities noted an increased number of schoolyard incidents in which Pokemon cards were stolen or traded under unfair circumstances, which have led to disciplinary actions and even bans of Pokemon trading cards in some educational institutions.

Over the years since their release, there have been multiple incidents during official Pokemon card tournaments. Admittedly, some of those were hilarious, like the massive Pokemon deck that was used in a professional tournament, but some were actually violent incidents that included physical altercations. Not to mention the armed robbery of 2005 in Japan and the Target store incident of 2021.

Some less violent incidents include price inflation, which increased the price of Pokemon cards to eye-watering sums—most notably the first-edition Pokemon cards, which sell for a huge sum on eBay. This inspired scalping, and counterfeiting cards, as seen in the case of Logan Paul when his box containing $3.5 million in Pokemon cards was confirmed as fake.