Tweet joke bomber appeals to High Court
The man fined for joking on Twitter about blowing up an airport has decided to take his case to the High Court.
Paul Chambers was arrested in January after posting a tweet in frustration at airport closures. “Robin Hood airport is closed,” he tweeted. “You’ve got a week and a bit to get your s**t together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”
Chambers lost an appeal earlier this month, and was charged an extra £2,000 in costs on top of the original fine of £385 and £600 costs.
The troubled tweeter is now taking his case to the High Court.
The new appeal attempt will be expensive, so while the likes of comedian Stephen Fry had offered to pay Chambers’ fine, a fund-raising campaign has kicked off to cover expenses.
Chambers latest appeal features a new heavy-hitting legal team, including leading human rights lawyer Ben Emmerson and media laywer David Allen Green, who successfully defended science journalist Simon Singh in a libel suit with the British Chiropractic Association.
The pair see the appeal as a test case of the Communications Act, which has never before been used regarding a social network. The section in question was originally created to deal with menacing phone calls.
“We want to establish what constitutes a menacing communication, what should be the level of intent required for the offence to be committed, and whether or not Paul’s message was sent by means of a public electronic communications network,” Green told the BBC.