YouTube Pranksters Sentenced to Jail After Robbery Stunt Goes Horribly Wrong
Sometimes, pranks are really, really funny. Why else would April Fool’s Day be some people’s favorite holiday?? But in the case of YouTube prank troop Trollstation’s July 2015 art gallery robbery stunt, the intended humor was quickly replaced by horror… and four of its members are now paying the consequences.
Daniel Jarvis, Endrit Ferizolli, Ebenezer Menzah and Helder Gomes were all sentenced to jail after they staged and filmed a prank where they ran into London’s National Portrait Gallery with stockings over their heads and pretended to steal paintings they had previously purchased while a fake alarm sounded through loudspeakers. But as if that wasn’t enough, they then moved on to Tate where they pretended to take a woman hostage and steal even more paintings. Britain Even though the boys were trying to be funny, the gallery’s guests were “absolutely terrified” because the stunt occurred just a week after terrorists attacked and killed 30 tourists in Tunisia, and one woman even fell unconscious and the crowd tried to run from the ‘heist.’
“We have been told that the defendants intended this a joke,” District Judge Mike Snow said. “Their sense of humor is warped and immature… It was quite foreseeable those attending the gallery, not being in on the joke, but being familiar with recent scenes of people running for their lives from terrorist acts, would be terrified and panic. And that is what happened The aggravating features in this case are the high levels of fear of violence that were experienced, the risk of death or serious injury in the stampede.”
The YouTubers, who have garnered over 700,000 subscribers on their channel, each pleaded guilty to two counts of using threatening words or behavior and will serve varying sentences. Daniel, 27, will be in jail for 20 weeks, Ebenezer, 29, and Helder, 23, will serve 18 weeks, and Endrit, 20, will spend 16 weeks in a young offenders’ institution.
“We hope these convictions send a strong message that unlawful activities such as these will not be tolerated in London,” said Robert Short, of the Crown Prosecution Service.
The Trollstation boys aren’t the first YouTubers who’ve gotten into trouble with the law:
In 2014, the beauty vlogger was accused of illegally using Ulta Records' artists' music in her videos and got sued for Copyright Infringement. According to the company, Michelle used their artists’ tracks in the background of her tutorials without properly acquiring the licenses needed to use them. The 29 year old then filed a counterclaim against the record company saying she had spoken with a representative at the company and they agreed to let her use the music. By August 2015, the vlogger and the music mogul had settled out of court, but the information surrounding that decision has not been released.
Photo: Instagram (@michellephan)