Four members of prank collaboration channel Trollstation have been jailed.
Trollstation pranksters Endrit Ferizolli, Helder Gomes, Daniel Jarvis, and Ebenezer Mensah have been sentenced to a combined total of 18 months in prison for a fake art heist in the National Portrait Gallery.
The prank, which took place in July 2015, saw Jarvis, Mensah, and Gomes pull full-length tights over their heads while shouting “Let’s get the paintings”, while Ferizolli took a speaker system into the Wolfson Gallery which let off alarm sounds. The prank caused one woman to faint while panicked members of the public fled the gallery.
All four initially pleaded not guilty, before changing their pleas to receive a reduction in jail time. Jarvis had his sentence reduced because of his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, while Mensah and Gomes also got a further reduced sentence for their work with young people and ex-offenders.
— TrollStation (@TrollstationYT) May 16, 2016
Jarvis, Mensah, Ferizolli, and Gomes admitted two counts of using threatening or abusive words and behaviour causing fear of unlawful violence at the City of London Magistrates’ Court on Monday 16 May 2016.
District Judge Mike Snow sentenced the men, adding: “The defendants in this case are part of a group called Trollstation, a group that believes it is amusing to film acts impacting on the public and then upload those onto the internet, specifically YouTube.
“It was quite foreseeable that those attending the gallery not being in on the joke, and being familiar with the recent scenes of people running for their lives from terrorist acts, would be terrified.”
Judge Snow noted the men caused “high levels of fear of violence” and a “risk of death or injury” during the stampede from the National Portrait Gallery, and sought to “humiliate” the victims by “recording their terrified reactions to upload onto the internet”.
Trollstation member Danh Van Le was also sentenced to 12 weeks in jail in March 2016 for his involvement in the prank, as well as 24 weeks for a bomb hoax.
Read more on TenEighty: