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Twitter Joke Trial Returns to Court

Reported Irish Times 27.06.12

Twitter Joke Trial Returns to Court – Reported Irish Times 27.06.12


Paul Chambers, an accountant in the UK, found guilty of sending a menacing tweet has renewed his challenge against his conviction in the High Court today Three judges, headed by the Lord Chief Justice have started a review of his case.

The accountant was fined £385 and ordered to pay £600 costs at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court in May 2010 after being convicted of sending “a message of a menacing character”, contrary to provisions of the 2003 Communications Act,

Mr. Chambers said he sent the tweet to his 600 followers in a moment of frustration after Robin Hood Airport in South Yorkshire was closed by snow in January 2010, and never thought anyone would take his “silly joke” seriously. It 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 November 2010 however the Crown Judge Davies dismissed his appeal stating that the electronic communication was “clearly menacing” and that airport staff were sufficiently concerned to report it. His lawyers have stated that the crown court erred in law, and in common sense.