British Twitter joker conviction quashed
A BRITISH Twitter user won an appeal against his conviction for writing on the website that he was going to blow up an airport in northern England, which he said was a joke.
Paul Chambers tapped out the message on the social networking site in frustration in January 2010, after heavy snow at Robin Hood Airport in South Yorkshire threatened his plans to fly to Ireland.
He wrote to his 600 followers: “Robin Hood Airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get … (it) together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!”
Chambers, now 28, was arrested a week later. Magistrates in Doncaster fined him 385 pounds in May 2010 and ordered him to pay 600 pounds in costs for sending “a message of a menacing nature”.
An initial appeal failed but overnight judges at the High Court in London ruled that the conviction should be quashed.
Chambers expressed relief at the decision, adding that he had become “unemployable” since he was arrested.
“I am relieved, vindicated – it is ridiculous it ever got this far,” he said.
Chambers had won the support of numerous celebrities in his battle to get the conviction overturned.
His lawyer John Cooper had previously told judges in the case it was obvious the tweet, sent by someone who had not disguised his identity, was a joke.
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