British YouTubers Sentenced To Jail For Internet Prank
YouTubers basing their videos on pranking members of the public might be thinking twice about their approach to getting views today following the news that members of extreme YouTube collective Trollstation have been sentenced to serve jail time in the UK.
This sentencing follows two pranks that took place in July 2015, which saw members of the group stage two fake robberies in London.
The first involved a hoax robbery at the National Portrait Gallery while the second involved a faked kidnapping at Tate Britain.
While they might be known to their 718,000 subscribers for their extreme pranks involving members of the public, these incidents took things to a new level, causing widespread panic and one woman to faint during the hoax.
Now four members of the group - thats Daniel Jarvis (27), Helder Gomes (23), Endrit Ferizolli (20) and Ebenezer Mensah (29) - have all been sentenced to prison time following their appearance at City of London Magistrate's Court on Monday.
With all four pleading guilty, their sentences range between 16 and 20 weeks for the National Portrait Gallery, with each also receiving 8 weeks for the Tate Britain kidnapping prank. All sentences will run concurrently.
"The hoaxes may have seemed harmless to them, but they caused genuine distress to a number of members of the public, who should be able to go about their daily business without being put in fear in this way," Robert Short of the Crown Prosecution Service said following the sentencing.
"We hope these convictions send a strong message that unlawful activities such as these will not be tolerated in London."
You can check out CCTV footage from inside the National Portrait Gallery during the 'prank' below:
This follows the March sentencing of Trollstation founder and cameraman Danh Van Le, who received 12 weeks imprisonment for the fake robbery and an additional 24 weeks for a separate incident involving a bomb hoax.
"Our aim was never to get away with breaking the law," a member of the group known as Light told the BBC at the time, adding that the collective hoped to continue but would "re-evaluate" their approach.
"We are a big influence and we try to use that positively," he said.