A UK man who joked on Twitter that he would BLOW UP an airport after it closed because of snow has had his conviction for sending a “menacing” message overturned in a landmark ruling for users of social media websites.
Paul Chambers, 28, had sent the message in what he called a moment of frustration at not being able to catch a flight from Doncaster Robin Hood airport. Mr Chambers had later been arrested and sentenced but the High Court on Friday upheld his appeal against conviction. Speaking outside the court afterwards, Mr Chambers’ barrister John Cooper, who had argued it was wrong to associate the tweet with terrorism, said it was a milestone ruling.
In Friday’s High Court ruling, three judges headed by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, allowed Mr Chambers’ appeal against a Crown Court judge’s decision upholding the 2010 conviction. They said: “If the person or persons who receive or read it, (the message) or may reasonably be expected to receive, or read it, would brush it aside as a silly joke, or a joke in bad taste, or empty bombastic or ridiculous banter, then it would be a contradiction in terms to describe it as a message of a menacing character.” :: Read the full article »»»»