Technology

YouTube channel Trollstation 'shocked' by jail term

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Media captionTrollstation have been accused of wasting police time and putting themselves at risk

YouTube channel Trollstation has vowed to continue making films despite a team member being jailed for nine months.

The London-based channel, with 684,000 subscribers, has built a reputation for filming staged pranks around the city.

Danh Van Le, known as Digi Dan, and a 15-year-old boy were charged with making a bomb hoax with intent.

Van Le was given a 24-week sentence, with an additional 12 weeks for threatening behaviour during other pranks staged at two art galleries.

He admitted to both incidents and was also given a £100 fine while his accomplice, who cannot be named, was given a 12-month intense referral order.

The pair had a suitcase containing a ticking clock which they showed to members of the public before running off.

Trollstation said it was making a tribute to US schoolboy Ahmed Mohamed, who was arrested after taking a home-made clock into the classroom to show his teachers.

Image caption Danh Van Le took part in a BBC report about the station in January.

Law break

"We were shocked that Danh was charged with it," spokesman Light told the BBC. "Our aim was never to get away with breaking the law. I'm sure Danh regrets ending up in prison but he never meant for anything like this to happen.

"Being arrested wasn't that much of a big deal - when they [the police] found out it wasn't serious, that there was no threat, the fact that they wanted to pursue it surprised us," he added.

The team usually alerts the police via the non-emergency number before stunts take place, he added - but he wasn't sure whether that had happened on the day of the bomb hoax.

"We are at the moment facing very high risks in London of terrorism," said Ken Marsh, head of the Metropolitan Police Federation, earlier this year.

"If my firearms officers are confronted with someone who they think has got a firearm and has discharged it and that person doesn't respond correctly, ultimately they could be shot."

Image copyright Trollstation
Image caption A video showing a fake Queens Guard being slapped has been viewed nearly nine million times.

Trollstation describes itself as a channel "specialising in bizarre and often surreal pranks performed on unwitting members of the public".

It adds that its material is "intentionally provocative and controversial with the aim to get reactions from the general public in the name of comedic satire".

Its most popular videos include staged scenes of a young woman getting her period in public and the Queen's Guards having a fight.

Light said they feel the police have made an example of them. "They are sending out a message," he said.

The station consists of eight people in their early 20s.

"It's just a group of friends trying to get out of working 9-5 in retail," he added.

The group is currently crowdfunding to go on tour.

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