Feeds

Twitter joke martyr loses appeal

Chambers still stuffed by off-cuff non-threat

The essential guide to IT transformation

Updated Paul Chambers, the Twitter joker turned misdemeanour conviction martyr, has lost his appeal against conviction for posting a tongue-in-cheek message "threatening" to blow Doncaster airport "sky high".

Chambers, 27, posted the bad taste Twitter update on 6 January, shortly before he was due to fly from the Yorkshire airport to Belfast to meet an online acquaintance, who became his girlfriend. Unusually severe snow forced the closure of Doncaster and other UK airports at the time, provoking Chambers into a fairly obviously hyperbolic rant via his @pauljchambers account.

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!

An off-duty manager at Doncaster's Robin Hood Airport spotted the message and decided to report it to police, even though the message was not treated as a real threat and had no effect on the running of the airport.

Chambers was questioned by police, charged, and later convicted for sending a threatening message, contrary to the Communications Act of 2003. He was fined £1,000 and gained a criminal record.

The whole incident cost Chambers his original job as a trainee accountant, and a second job a week before the initial hearing of his appeal back in September.

During the resumed hearing on Thursday, Judge Jacqueline Davies ruled that Chambers' original twitter update was "obviously menacing", contrary to defence arguments that the message was "facetious".

"The words in the message speak for themselves and they were sent at a time when the security threat to this country was substantial," Judge Davies said, The Guardian reports.

The appeal was rejected on all counts. Chambers was hit with an extra £2,000 in prosecution costs over the failed appeal in addition to the original £1,000 fine and costs.

Chambers' supporters include Graham Linehan, writer of The IT Crowd and Father Ted, lawyer Allen Green (@davidallengreen) and many ordinary Twitter users, who donated to help fund the appeal. ®

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?