Feeds

Twitter airport bomb spoof joker launches appeal

What will he pretend to threaten to do if he loses?

The essential guide to IT transformation

The Twitter user who jokingly threatened to blow Doncaster airport "sky high" back in January is to appeal against his widely criticised conviction for sending a threatening message.

Paul Chambers, 26, got into trouble for posting the ill-conceived micro-blogging update on 6 January, after a run of heavy snow weather forced the Yorkshire airport to shut up shop a week before he was due to fly over to Belfast to meet a girl he met online (@crazycolours), who he has since begun dating.

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!

The frustrated but rather self-evidently non-serious message was spotted by an off-duty manager at Doncaster's Robin Hood Airport, who complained to the police. He later admitted at Chambers' trial that the update was not considered as a credible threat and had no effect on the airport's operations.

Chambers, of the Balby area of Doncaster, lost his job as a finance supervisor as a result of the prosecution. He received fines of £1,000 and a criminal record after he was convicted of sending a threatening message by Doncaster Magistrates' Court last month. The court rejected Chambers' testimony that the the message was "innocuous hyperbole" in finding him guilty of an offence against the Communications Act 2003.

Internet users upset with the verdict rallied to his cause, helping to finance an appeal. Chambers will be represented by defence barrister Stephen Ferguson at an appeal likely to take place in either July or August. The appeal will challenge whether the update to the @pauljchambers Twitter account could reasonably be interpreted as menacing.

More updates on the appeal can be found in the Jack of Kent blog, maintained by lawyer Allen Green, who is co-ordinating the appeal. "I think we can be optimistic for Paul's chances on appeal, but that sadly is not a certainty," Green writes.

"There is still a lot of work to be done so that this injustice can be remedied. If the Crown Court appeal is unsuccessful, then there can then be an appeal to the High Court, and so on until he is finally acquitted, or until he exhausts the entire appeal process."

Prominent supporters of Chambers include Graham Linehan, writer of the IT Crowd and Father Ted, who wrote a critique of the so called twitterjoketrial against the former trainee accountant here. Other supporters include writer Neil Gaiman and many Twitter users. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?