PROFESSIONAL film makers were hauled before court for kidnapping Santa for a promotional Christmas prank.

Entrepreneur Jamie Rainsley, 22, from Eastbourne, staged the stunt with five colleagues to promote his company True Mobster, which has its own channel on YouTube with more than 320,000 followers and 50 million hits worldwide.

The stunt involved Jamie's Mercedes and a BMW driving through Eastbourne on the day the Coca Cola Christmas Truck came to town on December 18 last year.

They stopped outside the Arndale Centre before Jamie and a friend jumped out and bundled Santa Claus into the back of the BMW.

The prank involved Jamie's Mercedes and a BMW stopping outside the Arndale Centre. Jamie and a friend jumped out bundled Santa Claus into the back of the BMW.

The stunt, which had been prearranged with Santa, worked to perfection according to Jamie, but alarmed shoppers dialled 999 and five police cars raced to the scene.

The six were later charged with using threatening or abusive behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress and have each been given a 12-month conditional discharge by magistrates and ordered to pay £100.

Jamie has launched a fierce attack on Sussex Police for proceeding with the legal action.

He said: "We are not criminals, we are six young people trying to make careers, and now because of the actions of Sussex Police we have criminal records. That is not fair, that is not justice.

"It was surely clear to everyone it was a stunt. We threw around 150 wristbands out of the two vehicles and we know for a fact that shoppers stopped and picked them up.

"It was never our intention to upset or offend anyone, it was just a prank. There were security staff all around because of the Coca Cola Truck but not one of them came towards us.

"Little did we know that people were going to dial 999."

Sussex Police contacted him on the day of the incident but it wasn't until March that he and his five friends received calls from officers asking them to attend the station for questioning.

He said: "We could not believe it and neither could the magistrates. It was a complete joke, we were only in the court for about 10 minutes. Surely the police have got more serious cases to investigate."

Jamie is pursuing his dream career of being a movie director and uploaded the video on Christmas Day, attracting 35,000.

He has uploaded more than 100 videos on his YouTube channel over the last four years.