Paul Chambers, the Twitter joker turned misdemeanour conviction martyr, has lost his appeal against conviction for posting a tongue-in-cheek message "threatening" to blow Doncaster airport "sky high". Chambers, 27, posted the bad taste Twitter update on 6 January, shortly before he was due to fly from the Yorkshire airport to …
Really - apparently Stephen Ferguson, David Allen Green, Paul, Crazy Colours myself, and about 90% of the other people in the courtroom were wrong to think that this might, and i empathise MIGHT, be a joke. Oh no. Obvious, innit...
I'm personally convinced I have witnessed a miscarriage of justice, and it doesn't leave me with a warm fuzzy feeling...
Judge Davies (and most of the judiciary) obviously needs to pull her head out of her arse just occasionally to sample the real world. By literal dictionary definition it may be possible to construe as menacing but context is important. He's obviously a silly sod for writing it in the current security theatrics but she's just joined him in the sin-bin for stupidity.
I've got a twitter account and I'm not afraid to use it!!!
Compare and contrast
It will be interesting to see how this case is handled compared to:
Birmingham case will be slam-dunk
it's harder to pass off the tweet in the Brum case as a joke - especially when (as the lady the tweet was about states) if it had been a *muslim* calling for the stoning of a *christian* then their feet wouldn't touch.
The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.
He should feel the full weight of the law. There are so many things this could fall under, from inciting racial hated to anti terror laws.
Lock him up and ban him from politics for life
One is joking about bombing an airport (had they done that in the airport rubber gloves would have been involved) while the other is inciting violence. Just a joke works as a defence in very few circumstances, mostly involving stages and paying audiences.
Hand grenade avatars are fine. Saying "I've got a hand grenade" is not.
... I think I can guess what will happen.
The UK judiciary are completely crazy.
Inciting racial hatred?
INCITING RACIAL HATRED?
Either you didn't read his "tweet" or you're an idiot. Which is it?
Re: The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.
You're confusing this guy with the other guy who is an extraordinary scumbag for suggesting someone be stoned but probably shouldn't have been arrested for it if only because it means people will be forced to defend him on free speech grounds, and no one likes having to defend scumbags.
on the other hand -
Nah! If it was t'other way round, it would have been "free speech"
Mr. Chambers had no criminal intent and posed no danger to anyone whatsoever. Judge Davies ignored this fundamental (or erstwhile fundamental) prerequisite for conviction and imposed an undeserved penalty on Mr. Chambers.
The inescapable observation is that Judge Davies is more of a threat to me - to us - than Mr. Chambers.
Not only that...
As Mr. Fergusson (defence barrister) described to her at some length, the only way she could find that Paul had such intent would be to decide that we was lying in his testimony in court today, in which he very clearly started he had no such intent.
Let that sink in for a minute... In order not to have reasonable doubt in her mind as to intent, she had to convince herself that he was lying. Now, for my money (and I was 20 feet away), he was actually very convicing in his testimony - he came across as precise what he is - someone who made a silly mistake and now regrets it.
Did the judge feel Paul was owed an explanation as to precisely how she had reached the conclusion he was laying? Nope! Not a word in justification. Not an argument, not a proposition... Not even so much as a vague hint as to where she dreamt that one up.
You should know by now
that "lack of criminal intent" is only a valid defence when it's a police officer, politician or corporate bigwig in the dock. It isn't available to the plebs like you and me.
"The words in the message speak for themselves and they were sent at a time when the security threat to this country was substantial," Judge Davies said, The Guardian reports.
Unless his tweet started @DoncasterAirport then it wasn't *sent*.
A message that is not sent, is just like an overheard conversation. I'm now concerned that this is now a crime...
The only way to find said message was to be in the conversation (a follower) or to evesdrop (search) for it.
Its all nonsense.
I wasn't previously aware that the law actually changed when the security threat level to the country did, unless a state of emergency is declared of course.
Are we in a state of emergency? I certainly feel like the country is in a state of distress, and not because of the terrorists, but because of the government response to the terrorists.
Flames, coz we're all fiddlin' whilst Rome burns, baby.
So does that mean
Judge Davies is suggesting he is guilty of bad timing? That if the threat level was not substantial - he may not have been guilty?
The problem with texts and tweets is that written words do *not* speak for themselves. When you speak the words, you have mannerisms, inflections and tone that all work with the words to convey meaning. When you read them you have none of that and they are often open to ambiguous meanings. You have to take that into account when reading them. In a longer message it is easier to be sure what the intended communication is because you have the context of the sentences around the words in question to help you. In a short message you have no context.
Here is a short message - "Oh yes please, I'd love to have one of those". The literal meaning of those words conveys a desire to possess, but if the writer was being sarcastic, the meaning is diametrically opposed. How can someone as intelligent as the judge be so sure she has got the intended meaning by taking the literal meaning of the few words he wrote, in isolation from everything else? It seems barmy to me.
I have sent texts that I thought were clear and which have been misunderstood and I had to clarify them because the receiver did not have the context I had when writing them.
Unwise this man may have been but hardly a criminal. What is the terminolgy security types like to use when they are trying to scare us? "A credible threat". Was this a credible threat? I would say not.
@ "Sent" & @ "Re:Sent"
Don't start to make up stuff. Good gracious, "it's an overheard conversation"!? By this logic posting whatever on your own site is not a threat.
The point of threats it to put them "out there" and that's done --- not in an overheard conversation or whatever. In the olden days, if you phoned a newspaper office that the airport will be blown up, it was correctly treated as a threat --- there's no suggestion of a law that you have to explicitely ring (or write on a standard X-43 form in triplicate) the airport. Here you electromagically jump the phone-a-paper step.
I'd say the weakest point in the allegation is the lack of immediate action by police and airport, and later casual procedure: it shows that it was understood not to be an actual nor potentially developing threat. Lack of immediate action doesn't imply not-a-real-threat (indications of 9/11 activity missed months earlier, e.g., would still have been threats if disaster was averted just in time), but routine action shows it is.
European Court of Human rights
I'm sure the European Court of Human rights will defend his right to freedom of speech - oh no, they only defend criminals.
This might be my last day as a commentard... bit worried about losing my job and getting a criminal record.
Please don't believe everything you read in the Daily Fail or Excess about the ECHR. Makes you look like a real tw*t!
Oh, and as you obviously don't understand the law, by being found guilty Mr Chambers IS a criminal! Kind of negates your stupid comment, wuoldn't you say?
FAIL - just the dumbest comment I've seen in a long while
Re: @David Wood
Alright boys, dial it down a bit.
Epic judicial fail
Judge Davies needs lesson in the English languiage and the way sarcasm is used. This man has been convircted of stupid joke. Well done, that Judge and the CPS.
I wonder if in Dave's Big Society we the people will be able to vote out Judges who are just out of step, or indeed seek to repeal laws that get missused like this.
Out of step
Do you mean out of step with law or out of step with reality ?
Re Out of Step
Both, enough said..............
For a definition of "dispropotionate response" just look this up.
Yes, it's not clever in this some-bad-people-do-blow-shit-up age to write such things, but if the authorities are incapabable of identifying this as a *very* obvious tongue in cheek comment, then they lack the skills they need.
Prosecuting this is so far from being in the public interest it's laughable.
Anonymous...just in case the same authorities read this and think I'm about to **** the ***** or some such.
I'd say something, but I'm afraid it would land me ****ed in the eyesocket by some purethought enforcer.
They made an example of the poor sod.
While this whole fiasco is quite pathetic, the guy has to realise that rent-a-cops, petty snoopers ( the airport manager who read the message ) and judges often has zero sense of humour, espeically when it comes to so-called security threats.
He has my sympathy, but he has to realise that these people have no common sense and cannot be trusted to take a comment in the jokey vein it was so obviously intended to be. They wanted to make an example of him from day one, just to frighten the rest of us into submission and make sure we don't make jokes about their jobs and abilities.
Pathetic Jobsworths the lot of them!
Even the airport authorities didn't take it seriously
You can't blame them, they didn't take it seriously, but were legally required to notify the police once they became aware of it.
You can blame them they are obliged to report all security threats. This was not, They do not have to report any comment containing Doncaster stupid airport. otherwise they'd pass this comment on as well.
The real security threat is that Doncater Airport employes muppets who couldn't tell one end of a dangerous spoon from the other.
Perhaps they should pass that comment on too.
What happened to....
Would a reasonable person find these comments menacing....
Maybe the definition has been changed to would an over sensitive, politically correct retard find them menacing. Come back common sense, where did you go??
A colleague said this just today, and it applies here
"Common sense has left the building!"
This Won't Go Away
I suspect this will be one of those cases that has a life of its own & will be coming back.
Would a smiley emoticon on the end have made it enough less-threatening? :)
Title Goes Here
No, it wouldn't of made it enough 'less-threatening'. It would have appeared that not only was he going to bomb the airport, but that he would gain some kind of sick pleasure from doing so. Smiling would have appeared even more menacing, and possibly been constituted as a legitimate terrorist threat.
Just in case someone as dense as Judge Davies reads this; yes, I am being sarcastic.
Wow, the poster you responded to actually gave you all the clues by using the correct words but you still managed to mess it up.
It's wouldn't HAVE people. HAVE, HAVE, HAVE, fucking HAVE!
"Wouldn't of" makes no fucking sense!
(Hmm, maybe a little too much caffeine so far today.)
That is all.
Not facetious enough...
Remember kids, make sure all your threats on twitter are so outrageous that no reasonable man would ever believe them.
Bad: "I want to shoot Nick Clegg for breaking his pre-election promise."
Good: "I want to shoot Nick Clegg with a sex-change raygun and force him to go on a date with Jeremy Clarkson for breaking his pre-election promise."
Bad: "Someone please stone Yasmin hardtospellname to death."
Good: "Someone please drown Yasmin hardtospellname in a bowl of lemon and cheese yoghurt after forcing her to listen to Cure albums for seventeen uninterrupted years in a cavern on Jupiter and then feed her to hedgehogs."
Bad: "I want to kill you."
Good: "Fuck off, wank-breath!"
The problem is, when the choice is between being threatening and being offensive, we British as a nation do so hate being offensive.
For a judgeship please !!
Any semblance of free speech in this country just died.
I'm sorry, but you just shot a 10 year old corpse.
(Note: Not the corpse of a 10 year old - that would be sick and disturbing).
Christ, it's almost like you can't make a sick joke in this country anymore. If they started checking on people's texts then half the country would be banged up.
twits all round then
The perp was a twit for committing the "offence", the "off duty" manager is a twit for calling the plod. The plod, self explanatory. The CPS, that well known hotbed of common sense and the judiciary, well they are just twits.
I see Stephen Fry has offered to pay the chap's fine/costs etc.
Love him or hate him, that's a pretty generous gesture.
Humour is dead.....
Did I ever tell you the one about the one legged man and the donkey.... after today's decision I don't think I will. Looks like New Labour's attempt to destroy our ability to smile has succeeded
what a load of bollocks
guilty of having poor taste in jokes - ridiculous
Obviously a terroristy name, too.
Wonder how much the taxpayer paid for this mindless assclownery
What was the name of the officer that pushed this into motion, Lackwit Jobsworth?
- Geek's Guide to Britain Kingston's aviation empire: From industry firsts to Airfix heroes
- Analysis Happy 2nd birthday, Windows 8 and Surface: Anatomy of a disaster
- Adobe spies on readers: EVERY DRM page turn leaked to base over SSL
- Analysis The future health of the internet comes down to ONE simple question…
- Lollipop unwrapped: Chromium WebView will update via Google Play