Pranksters who live streamed bus theft on Facebook are jailed

Pranksters who stole a BUS while the driver was on a break and live streamed the theft on Facebook in ‘high jinks that went too far’ weep in court as they are jailed for a month each

  • James Jones, 27, and Jonathan Huckerby, 28, took bus while in Leicestershire 
  • Jones, a former bus driver, was able to unlock the vehicle and start the engine
  • Both appeared at Leicester Magistrates Court today after incident last month 
  • The court was told both had taken the bus while serving suspended sentences 

James Jones (right), 27, and Jonathan Huckerby (left), 28, decided to take an out-of service Skylink vehicle in Shepshed, Leicestershire last month. Both were jailed at Leicester Magistrates Court today for a month each

Two pranksters who filmed themselves stealing a bus while the driver was on a break wept in court today as they were each jailed for a month. 

James Jones, 27, and Jonathan Huckerby, 28, decided to take an out-of service Skylink vehicle in Shepshed, Leicestershire last month.

And both bizarrely decided to stream their escapade live on Facebook – in footage which shows them laughing and joking around.    

The pair broke down in tears at Leicester Magistrates Court today after they were jailed for four weeks each for what was described as ‘high jinks’ and a prank that went too far.

Magistrates heard the pair had been out drinking in Loughborough on December 3 and had then taken the bus to Shepshed to continue partying.

They were waiting at a bus stop to try to get back to Loughborough when they noticed the unattended 40 seater.

Jones, a former bus driver, was able to unlock the vehicle and he and Huckerby got on board while filming themselves and broadcasting the footage on Facebook.

Jones also knew the specialist way to start the engine – and got the vehicle going in a matter of minutes. 

The court heard they drove a short distance round the corner before realising the severity of what they were doing, pulling over and abandoning the bus.

Kwok Wan, prosecuting, said at about 7.30pm the driver of the bus had parked it and locked it in Charnwood Road, Shepshed, and left it while he took a break.

Mr Wan said: ‘When he returned, the bus was not where he had left it. He called the police.’

Jones (left), a former bus driver, was able to unlock the vehicle and he and Huckerby (right) got on board while filming themselves and broadcasting the footage on Facebook


The court heard they drove a short distance round the corner before realising the severity of what they were doing, pulling over and abandoning the bus

While officers were searching for the bus they became aware of the Facebook stream.

They then saw Huckerby and Jones walking along Ashby Road and arrested them.

Mr Wan said 27-year-old Jones, from Leicester, admitted taking the bus and told officers exactly how he did it.

Mr Wan said: ‘He said as he was driving the gravity of what he was doing dawned on him so he stopped and parked the bus.’

Huckerby, 28, of Loughborough, said they were drunk and that taking the bus had been a joke.

He initially told police he did not know Jones intended to drive off until officers showed him the live stream of him egging the him on.

Mr Wan said: ‘He said it started as a joke and it went too far.’


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Darren Young, defending Huckerby, said the video showed them messing around outside the bus at first before Jones gets into the drivers seat.

‘Various things were said. There’s a general theme of messing around.

‘My client says ‘I haven’t paid for my ticket to Loughborough’. Then the prank went too far.’

Mr Young said the pair decided to stop when they saw a police car.

He told the court that Huckerby had had a very bad 2018 suffering mental health problems and substance abuse.

Police found Huckerby with a small amount of the drug Mamba which Mr Young said he used to self medicate.

Kate Neild, defending Jones, said her client had been a bus driver until two years ago when he suffered a mental breakdown and was sectioned.

She said he was still receiving mental health treatment.

She added: ‘He can only apologise for what he has done. This was high jinks that went too far.

‘When police played the video to him he was embarrassed. This is an evening he doesn’t want to repeat and he has very much learned his lesson from it.’

James Jones, 27, and Jonathan Huckerby, 28, both appeared at Leicester Magistrates Court today

The court heard the bus was not damaged and £500 in fares was left untouched.

Jones and Huckerby both admitted taking the vehicle without consent.

Jones also admitted driving without proper insurance while Huckerby admitted possession of Mamba.

The court was told both defendants had taken the bus while serving suspended sentences.

Jones’ 12 week sentence for a violent crime was suspended for a year in May.

Huckerby’s sentence, also for a matter of violence and arson, dated back to September.

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench, Nigel Siesage, told them there was no alternative to activating their prison terms.

Their four week terms will be added to their previous sentences leaving Jones with 16 weeks and Huckerby with 12.

Jones was also banned from driving for 30 weeks.

Each defendant was ordered to pay £200 in court costs and victim surcharges.  

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