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Prankster spared jail but warned of ‘sticky wicket’ after Oval stunt

A Test match was disrupted when Daniel Jarvis entered the playing area.

19 October 2022

A self-styled YouTube prankster who collided with England cricketer Jonny Bairstow after invading the Oval pitch was warned he faces a “sticky wicket” if he defies court orders as he was handed a suspended sentence.

Daniel Jarvis, 34, filmed himself hiding in the toilets before darting onto the field on day two of the fourth Test against India last September.

He received a phone call tipping him off about the right time to cross the boundary before making contact with the batsman, 33, as he tried to bowl at 24-year-old Ollie Pope.

Jarvis, who has a YouTube account with more than 170,000 subscribers, was convicted of aggravated trespass following a summary trial in September.

He denied he had intended to disrupt the match and claimed he made his videos for the “people’s pleasure” and had received “positive” feedback on them.

“I get loads of people saying they have got mental health and my videos make them happy,” he told the court.

He told the court he “accidentally” made contact with an unsuspecting Bairstow at the non-striker’s end of the pitch, admitting “I can’t remember the man’s name.”

But passing sentence on Wednesday, District Judge Daniel Benjamin said Jarvis’ culpability was “extremely high” and found he had “deliberately set out to disrupt a high-profile sporting event.”

“Players and sporting officials do not know whether a person crossing the boundary is intent on doing them physical harm,” he said.

“Even if the person is not intent on doing physical harm, as your own conduct shows it is possible for physical contact to be made with a player inadvertently, risking such harm.

“As with any other member of the public, players and officials deserve to feel safe within their workplace.

“Contrary to your attempts to do otherwise with your YouTube videos, the message needs to go out that wrongly entering the arena at a sporting fixture is not a silly matter.

“It is so wide of the mark of acceptable behaviour that it will be met with severe sanction by the courts.

“I am satisfied that this offence is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.”

Pitch invader Jarvo 69 runs across the pitch and collides with England’s Jonny Bairstow (Adam Davy/PA)
Pitch invader Jarvo 69 runs across the pitch and collides with England’s Jonny Bairstow (Adam Davy/PA)

Jarvis, who appeared in the dock unshaven and wearing a grey hoodie and jeans, rolled his eyes and smiled as he was given an eight-week prison sentence suspended for two years.

He was also banned from attending any venue where a sporting fixture is being held in England and Wales for two years, from travelling abroad for 12 months and made subject to a rehabilitation activity requirement.

The judge warned him: “If you fail to comply with any of these requirements you will be in breach of this order, which means that you will be brought back to court and you will be on a sticky wicket because you will be liable to serve the sentence of imprisonment, whether in whole or in part”.

Prosecutor Aaron McCalister said, while he was in the toilets, Jarvis had changed into the Indian team’s kit, wearing a shirt with the number 69 and his “nickname”, “Jarvo”, on the back.

He then received a call from an “associate” who gave him a signal to enter the pitch, he said.

The summary trial, at Croydon Magistrates’ Court, heard the serial pitch invader had been convicted in 2014 of running onto the field during a football match as part of a competition to see which contestant could stay in the arena longest.

He twice breached a football banning order as a result of that occasion and has been convicted on 15 occasions for a total of 21 offences including those unrelated to sports.

Altaf Mohammed, defending, argued Jarvis, of Gravesend, Kent, had filmed the stunt “for fun and amusing people” but now “fully realises how serious this is”.

He added that the defendant had said he donated the proceeds of one of his YouTube videos to the Ukrainian cause and insisted he did not make them for financial gain.

“He was actually encouraged to make more videos because people found it humorous,” Mr Mohammed said.

“It was all for fun and amusing people.”

Judge Benjamin found that Jarvis had wanted publicity for himself and likely profited from the clips on his channel by receiving a share of the ad revenue.

“In my judgment your culpability is extremely high.

“You deliberately set out to disrupt a high-profile sporting event in order to gain publicity for yourself and footage for your own YouTube channel, from which you presumably profited from a small share of the advertising revenue.”

Additional security measures for such events have now been put in place as a result of Jarvis’ actions, the judge said.

“The harm caused by your conduct, which the pre-sentence report makes clear you fail to understand, was a disruption to the Test match, including no doubt a negative effect on the concentration of the players involved, particularly the batters, the interruption to the televised broadcast of the match both domestically and internationally, interruption to the viewing experience of the thousands of spectators within the Oval, and a detrimental experience for future spectators as a result of having to comply with security measures over and above those that had been in place before – additional measures introduced as a result of your behaviour.”

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