Twitter 'bomber' conviction upheld

UK court rejects appeal by Paul Chambers and fines him for his tweet threatening to blow up a local aiport in England.

    Paul Chambers was convicted after tweeting that he would blow up an airport if his flight was delayed

    A court in Britain has upheld the conviction of a man who tweeted about blowing up his local airport.

    The Doncaster Crown Court on Thursday rejected an appeal by Paul Chambers, who was convicted of sending a threatening message after saying on Twitter that he would blow up an airport if his flight was delayed.

    "Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your s**t together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!" read the tweet, which was later deleted.

    Chambers insisted his post was a joke, sent to his then 600 Twitter followers, in a moment of frustration.

    But a judge found him guilty of sending an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message over a public telecommunications network.

    Judge Jacqueline Davies upheld the conviction, saying Chambers' message was "obviously menacing".

    He was ordered to pay 2,000 pounds (US$3,225) in prosecution costs, in addition to a 385 pound fine.

    The verdict caused a wave of outrage on Twitter from supporters of Chambers, including writer and actor Stephen Fry, who tweeted "whatever they fine you, I'll pay".

    In a separate development, Gareth Compton, a Birmingham city councillor, was arrested on Thursday after allegedly posting a message on Twitter calling for a journalist to be stoned to death.

    Police said Compton was arrested on suspicion of sending an offensive or indecent message. He has not been charged and was released on bail pending further inquiries.

    Media reports say the post on the microblogging site said: "Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan't tell Amnesty if you don't. It would be a blessing, really.''

    The post appears to have been removed. On Thursday, Compton tweeted an apology for his "ill-conceived attempt at humour".

    Alibhai-Brown is a liberal columnist for The Independent newspaper. The governing Conservative Party said Compton had been suspended indefinitely.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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