Man appeals against Twitter terror fine
Saturday 25 September 2010
A trainee accountant who posted a message on Twitter threatening to blow an airport "sky high" began an appeal against his conviction and sentence yesterday, arguing that nobody would ever have taken his message seriously.
Paul Chambers, 26, was found guilty of sending a menacing electronic communication in May and was ordered to pay a £385 fine, a £15 victim surcharge and £600 costs. He later lost his job.
Chambers, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, claimed he sent the tweet to his 600 "followers" in a moment of frustration after nearby Robin Hood Airport was closed by snow in January. The message 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!"
Yesterday at Doncaster Crown Court, his solicitor said that if the tweet was considered menacing within the meaning of the law, then so could so many other statements made in all manner of social situations. Stephen Ferguson said: "To misquote Betjeman, 'Come friendly bombs and drop on Slough'. The point is an obvious one."
The barrister said the tweet was nothing more than "facetious parody" and that the conviction should be quashed because the message could not be called "menacing". The case continues.
Holborn fire: Chaos as 2,000 people evacuated to escape toxic smoke filling central London
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims