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12 December 2018, 14:05 | Updated: 12 December 2018, 14:29
Two men have been found guilty of filming themselves breaking into the Big Brother house at Borehamwood, during a live eviction earlier this year.
Alistair Law, 21, of Hepworth Close, Southampton and Ryan Taylor, 25, of Lichfield Road, Bloxwich, Walsall,appeared at St Albans Magistrates' Court on Monday, December 10 each charged with two counts of aggravated trespass.
These charges relate to two incidents at the Elstree Film Studios in Borehamwood in January this year.
The first was on the evening of January 19, when a live Big Brother eviction was being recorded at the studio.
Mr Law and Taylor travelled to the site and climbed over a boundary fence before gaining access to the Big Brother set and entering the house's loft space, all while filming on their phones and GoPro cameras. They were discovered by security staff just before 11pm and ejected from the site. Police were called however the incident was dealt with as a trespass matter, with no offences recorded.
A week later, on January 26, the pair went back to the studio -wearing GoPro cameras to document their movements - and climbed over the fence into the site once again. As with the previous week, a live eviction was being filmed.
Law and Taylor climbed scaffolding and walked along a corrugated roof overlooking the live audience before jumping down into the garden. They then tried to get into the house but found the doors to be locked. Law then took off his trousers and jumped into a nearby hot tub.
The contestants, who were inside the house, saw the pair in the garden and alerted the producers.
An emergency security protocol was put in place to protect the housemates and the audience, which in turn caused a significant amount of disruption.
The house was put on lockdown and window shutters were deployed. Police attended and both Law and Taylor were arrested.
The court heard that Law and Taylor upload footage of themselves carrying out these types of acts to their own YouTube channels, which in turn earns them money every time someone clicks on the videos.
Hertsmere Chief Inspector Steve O'Keeffe said:
"Social media can be entertaining when used responsibly and I want to reiterate that our aim here is not to stop people from having fun. Sadly the behaviour demonstrated by both defendants in this case had significant impact - both organisational and economical - on those involved, as well as putting unnecessary pressure on police resources.
Their actions were ill-thought out and irresponsible, especially at a time when the UK's terrorism threat level was, and is, graded as severe.
They are putting themselves in grave danger by choosing to climb on structures that are not designed to take the weight of a person, and while this is light-hearted now it could quickly turn into a tragedy.
Another concern is the example Law and Taylor's actions set to millions of their followers, a large proportion of whom are young and impressionable. It could only be a matter of time before a subscriber attempts to copy their antics, resulting in serious injury or death.
My advice to parents would be that, if you know your children watch and subscribe to YouTube channels with this type of content, please sit down with them and discuss the dangers involved when trying to emulate the same sort of stunts.
I can assure you that the last thing a police officer wants to do is to knock on someone's door and give them the devastating news that their child has passed away.
My team and I are pleased with the guilty verdict and we await sentencing next year."
Law and Taylor will be sentenced on March 5, 2019.
Taylor was also further arrested and charged for an offence of wilfully interrupting court proceedings/otherwise misbehaving in court (under the Contempt of Court Act 1981) after using his phone to film himself inside the court building on December 3, 2018.
He is due to appear at St Albans Magistrates' Court on Friday January 4, 2019 in relation to this offence.