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Pranksters jailed for fake heist at London art gallery

Four members of Trollstation have been convicted for staging a fake robbery at the National Portrait Gallery

Four members of prankster group Trollstation have been jailed for staging a fake heist at London’s National Portrait Gallery.

The group, who currently have 718,000 subscribers on YouTube, were convicted on Monday for committing a “genuinely distressing” fake robbery last July. They were also charged for a similar fake kidnapping at the Tate Britain in the same month.

“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,” stated Robert Short, of the Crown Prosecution Service. “We hope these convictions send a strong message that unlawful activities such as these will not be tolerated in London.”

Daniel Jarvis, Helder Gomes, Endrit Ferizolli, and Ebenezer Mensah all pleaded guilty to two counts of using threatening or abusive behaviour with intent to cause fear. Jarvis was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison, Mensah and Gomes to 18, and Ferizolli to 16. Additionally, the Tate Britain prank saw them all be sentenced to a further eight weeks, which will apparently be run concurrently.

In a new YouTube upload – titled “FREE THE MAN DEM” – other members of Trollstation have pleaded for a less harsh punishment. They have also raised suspicions about the police’s motives in the convictions; suggesting that they pressed for heavier sentences in a bid to scare the group.

“They want to try and compare (the art gallery heist) to terrorism and 9/11,” the members claim in the video. “You always got to remember, in certain situations, there is no expectation of privacy in a public place.”

Do you think it’s worth going to jail over? See the full hoax below and decide for yourself: