Twitter Joke Trial
On the 11 November 2010 Judge Davies, sitting with two magistrates, refused an appeal against the verdict of the "Twitter Joke Trial", from Paul Chambers who had posted a message on Twitter saying:
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!!
Chambers was appealing his conviction for "sending a public electronic message that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character contrary to the Communications Act 2003" at Doncaster magistrates court
When Judge Davies heard the appeal in Doncaster Crown Court she judged that the tweet was "obviously menacing" and that Chambers must have known that it might be taken seriously. She upheld the £1000 fine, and ordered that he pay an extra £2000 in legal costs.
Judge Davies' decision was ruled incorrect as a matter of law and the conviction overturned on appeal in the High Court, by decision dated 27 July 2012. The 13 page opinion, penned by Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, stated "We have concluded that, on an objective assessment, the decision of the Crown Court that this “tweet” constituted or included a message of a menacing character was not open to it. On this basis, the appeal against conviction must be allowed."
- "List of members of the judiciary - Circuit Judges". 2010-03-05. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- Chambers, Paul (11 May 2010). "My tweet was silly, but the police reaction was absurd". Guardian (London). Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- Wainwright, Martin (10 May 2010). "Wrong kind of tweet leaves air traveller £1,000 out of pocket". Guardian (London). Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "Twitter joke martyr loses appeal". 2010-11-11. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- Wainwright, Martin (2010-11-11). "Twitter joke trial: Paul Chambers loses appeal against conviction". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- Siddique, Haroon (12 November 2010). "#IAmSpartacus campaign explodes on Twitter in support of airport joker". The Guardian (London).
- "Approved Judgment". 2012-07-27.
- "Chambers v Director of Public Prosecutions  EWHC 2157 (QB) (27 July 2012)". BAILII. 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2012-07-27.
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