Paul Chambers Seeks To Overturn Twitter Airport ‘Bomb-Threat’ Conviction

Last week I blogged about the Irish national who was detained and subsequently send home after landing in Los Angeles because of a tweet he’d sent prior to his journey. In that blog I also made mention of Paul Chambers, who was convicted in May 2010 for sending a “menacing electronic communication”.

Those familiar with the story will know that during January 2010 he tweeted to 600 followers that he would blow South Yorkshire’s Robin Hood Airport “sky high” – however he was venting his frustration at the closure of the airport due to snow, and the prospect that he might not be able to see his girlfriend.

I don't think that tweet would have had John McClane rushing out of retirement.

Well this is back in the news again this week, as Paul Chambers has asked two High Court judges to overturn a Doncaster Crown Court decision from November 2010 that upheld his conviction and sentence.

Around the time of the initial trial, thousands of Twitter users leapt to Chambers’ support, by way of am ‘I am Spartacus!’ campaign, which saw 4,000 people tweet his original message across Twitter. Ben Emmerson QC, representing Mr Chambers cited the fact that none of the 4,000 tweeters were arrested, and said that the situation required an injection of common sense.

Comedian Al Murray, who recently held a special benefit performance for Paul Chambers said “This situation is Monty Python. It is absurd, bonkers. It means we cannot post what we want on Twitter, or say what we want – that is incredible to me.”

We’ll be back with any further news on this case.


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