The Inquirer-Home

Twitter 'bomb threat' joker wins High Court appeal

Court rules tweet was not menacing
Fri Jul 27 2012, 11:37
The Twitter bird logo in blue on white

TWITTER JOKER Paul Chambers has won his High Court challenge against his conviction after he was found guilty of sending a threatening tweet back in 2010.

Chambers became the first person in the UK to be found guilty of a criminal offense for a tweet when a court ruled that a joke about blowing up a local airport when it was closed because of snow was "a message of menacing character."

The tweet read, "Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together; otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!"

In court today the judges ruled in Chambers' favour, saying, "We have concluded that, on an objective assessment, the decision of the Crown Court that this 'tweet' constituted or included a message of a menacing character was not open to it.

"On this basis, the appeal against conviction must be allowed."

Following today's ruling Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye said, "I am happy that this long running nightmare is over for Paul. But this case should never have gone this far, it has been a huge waste of Police and Court time. Today's verdict is a win for common sense as much as freedom of speech.

"Despite finally arriving at this positive result, the chilling effect on freedom of expression remains. It is time to support free speech and review the Communications Act. The law is clearly broken when a person can be jailed for light-hearted comments on social media.

"If the government does nothing, there is still the threat of arbitrary arrest for even the briefest harmless joke." µ

 

Share this:

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement
Subscribe to INQ newsletters

Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ

Advertisement
INQ Poll

Internet of Things at Christmas poll

Which smart device are you hoping Santa brings?