Two YouTubers are facing sentencing in a recent court case for setting up a bomb threat at Newcastle Airport as part of a YouTube practical joke. The judge denounced their behavior, labeling them “idiots” and emphasizing how serious their transgression was.

Prank gone wrong

At Newcastle Airport, two YouTubers, Garard Ndela and Andre Antonio, tried pulling a practical joke. Antonio recorded the event while Ndela pretended to be an Islamist terrorist. Their goal was to get attention on YouTube.

Ndela made alarming statements in Arabic, claiming to have a bomb at the airport. Security intervened and the duo was detained.

The judge’s verdict

During sentencing, Judge Amanda Rippon called Ndela a “self-entitled idiot” and emphasized the severity of his actions. “He is a self-entitled idiot who thinks he is entitled to do what he wants,” Rippon said. 

“Intentionally using the Arabic language and all that fear that comes from people thinking an Islamist terrorist could blow up an airport. That was a deliberate attempt by him to cause fear and that’s the most serious aspect of it,” she added.

Both Ndela and Antonio pleaded guilty to communicating false information. Ndela received a nine-month suspended sentence and 200 hours of unpaid work, while Antonio got a five-month suspended sentence and 150 hours of unpaid work.

Defense arguments

Admitting that his client’s actions were “stupid” and “misguided,” Ndela’s attorney emphasized his regret. According to Antonio’s attorney, his client had advised against the practical joke.

The court’s decision makes it very evident how serious these jokes are. The two faced legal repercussions for their “prank” even if ot was to simply get attention online. This is a lesson to prank content creators that pranks can be taken too far.

Featured image background image courtesy: Newcastle International Airport