Parents charged with child neglect over YouTube ‘prank’ videos.

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Telling your son he can’t come to Disneyland because he’s been naughty and then pulling out the tickets… that could almost pass as a joke. Maybe.

You know what’s not funny? Pulling a gun on your kids. Telling them they have to leave home because you don’t want them anymore. Making your children cry. Hurting them.

Meet DaddyOFive and MommyOFive, known outside the social media realm as Heather and Mike Martin. The Martins have five gorgeous children, who, until April this year, they occasionally humiliated and tortured for the entertainment of their “fans”.

Listen: On This Glorious Mess, Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo look at the questionable parenting of the Martins:

Now, their videos haven’t just been wiped from their YouTube account, which amassed more than 750,000 followers. Both Heather and Martin have lost custody of two of Mike’s biological children, 10-year-old Cody and 11-year-old Emma, and have been sentenced on charges of child neglect.

According to Baltimore Sun in Frederick County Circuit Court on Monday it was heard that one of the Martins’ 300 videos saw them will their children to slap each other; while another saw Mike Martin forcefully push his son into a bookcase.

Nose bleeds, tears, screaming and panic were all commonplace in the so-called ‘prank videos’.

According to a neuropsychologist who worked with Frederick County Child Protective Services, both Cody and Emma suffered “observable, identifiable and substantial impairments of their mental or psychological ability to function.”

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“It became correlated directly to the behaviour and actions of the defendants, the Martins,” Frederick County Assistant State’s Attorney Lindy Angel said.

For this, both Heather and Mike Martin were handed five-year suspended sentences. They are prohibited from having contact with Cody or Emma – and their biological mother – unless permitted by a court. If they violate these conditions, they will face up to 10 years in prison.

The couple’s three remaining kids — Heather’s biological children and Michael’s stepchildren — were not included in the investigation.

Listen to the full episode of This Glorious Mess here:

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