Paul Chambers: The twitter airport bomb 'threatener' has been cleared.

BuggerAll

LE
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#1
From the Grauniad:

Paul Chambers, who was found guilty of sending a menacing tweet, has won his high court challenge against his conviction.

He had tweeted in frustration when he discovered that Robin Hood airport was closed by the snow. Eager to see his girlfriend, he sent out a tweet on the publicly accessible site declaring: "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!!"
He has always maintained that he did not believe anyone would take his "silly joke" seriously.
The lord chief justice, Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Owen and Mr Justice Griffith Williams, said: "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."
After the verdict, the MP Louise Mensch tweeted: "CPS owe my constituent @pauljchambers and the country a huge apology for a shameful prosecution that should never have been brought."
Chambers, now 27 and a trainee accountant, had arrived at the snow-bound airport on 6 January 2010 hoping to fly to Belfast to meet Sarah Tonner, whom he had met on Twitter where she was known as @CrazyColours.
A week later, he was arrested by four officers from South Yorkshire police who visited his office at a car distribution firm in Doncaster. Chambers subsequently lost his job as a financial supervisor.
He was prosecuted under section 127(1) of the Communications Act 2003, which prohibits sending "by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character".
In May 2010, Chambers was convicted by the district judge Jonathan Bennett sitting at Doncaster magistrates court and fined £1,000. In November 2010, the crown court judge Jacqueline Davies, sitting with two magistrates, dismissed his appeal, saying that the electronic communication was "clearly menacing" and that airport staff were sufficiently concerned to report it.
This is very good news. This was always a nonsense. Only an idiot would have imagined that his 'threat' was serious. Which just proves that there are idiots working at Robin Hood Airport, the CPS and the judiciary. There should be some sackings.
 

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#5
Heh.

This the same Louise Mensch who calls for such networks to be shut down in times of social unrest, and who also launched "Menshn", one such network, last month?

Heh.
I don't know whether she did or not but there is a difference. Only a feeble minded cretin would have imagined that Chamber's tweet constituted a threat or was anything other than a jest sent in frustration. Whereas social media on smart phones was used to coordinate riots last summer.
 
#6
Now I didn't know that this decision was going to go either way.

I mentioned this bit of law here:

http://www.arrse.co.uk/current-affa...et-al-charged-over-hacking-2.html#post4529356

The wording of the Act is thus:

127 Improper use of public electronic communications network
(1)A person is guilty of an offence if he—
(a)sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character; or
(b)causes any such message or matter to be so sent.
(2)A person is guilty of an offence if, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another, he—
(a)sends by means of a public electronic communications network, a message that he knows to be false,
(b)causes such a message to be sent; or
(c)persistently makes use of a public electronic communications network.
(3)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or to both.
(4)Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to anything done in the course of providing a programme service (within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act 1990 (c. 42)).
Now firstly, we have freedom of speech in this country. But...I tend to agree with the principle laid down in America by the Supreme Court Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes Jnr.
The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. [...] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.
Holmes wrote of falsely shouting fire, because, of course, if there were a fire in a crowded theater, one may rightly indeed shout "Fire!"; one may, depending on the law in operation, even be obliged to. Falsely shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater, i.e. shouting "Fire!" when one believes there to be no fire in order to cause panic, was interpreted not to be protected by the First Amendment.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shouting_fire_in_a_crowded_theater

The caselaw in this country will be different, obviously. Obvously, matters would have been different if there had been a stampede at the time at the airport. Doubtless that assisted his defence, so it is only that things didn't go wrong that assisted him.

Being highly suspicious, I also wonder if he had turned up in a huge beard and a taqqiyah prayer cap on..... Well, we'll never know will we?

However, the internet (or at least that bit with a union flag on it) is not and should not be an zone without responsibility.

However, he has been subsequently cleared at that is that. I look forward to much more rubbish like this as every twat with an IP address does whatever they like and claims it is a "silly joke".

I rather think that the social good will not be helped by such case law supportive of such behaviour.

On an aside, Miss Mensch on a different day:

The MP has called on internet providers to identify those behind trolling and says prosecutors must take the problem more seriously.

"Too often people have believed that the internet is a magical, protected space where nothing they do can be policed.
"Zimmerman, a typical troll, operated under the belief that if he hid behind an anonymous internet user name, nothing could happen to him.
"They type threats on their keyboard that they would never utter in person. A rash of such cases has arisen in the past couple of years, and prosecutors are cracking down.
"Social networks have a duty to identify internet bullies who cower behind anonymity. As victims repeatedly fight back, we can hope to see a culture shift. "
Louise Mensch: social networks must identify internet bullies who cower behind anonymity - Telegraph

One thing I do think is that it is utterly hypocritical of Louise Mensch jumping on this to then demand apologies when she is quite happy to demand the full protection of the law in regards the internet when it suits her.

I suppose she had an equally condemnatory press release written for if the conviction was upheld?

Power without responsibility, whose perogative was that again?
 
Z

Zarathustra

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#7
He's a ******** who deserved everything he got. Decision should not have been reversed.
Get real, he made a stupid "threat" on twitter and some mouth breather thought he was being serious.

Bet you wouldn't be so quick to condemn him if he'd been a squaddy trying to get home on leave after returning from a tour.
 
#8
So you think he intended his message as a serious bomb threat, do you? Because that's what he was convicted of.

If being a ******** is a criminal offence, they'd better start building more prisons, fast.
He wasn't convicted of bomb threat

Seperate charge totally.

Bomb Hoax: Sentencing Manual: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service

Doubtless that was taken into accountin the charging decision, I suggest.

But yes, if being a twat is an offence we are going to need more cells.

Start with Mensch, IMHO.
 

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LE
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#9
So you think he intended his message as a serious bomb threat, do you? Because that's what he was convicted of.

If being a ******** is a criminal offence, they'd better start building more prisons, fast.
Not only did he not intend his message as a threat only an idiot would have thought it was. I would have been happy with his conviction if his 'threat' might have been thought to be serious regardless of whether he intended it or not but that isn't the case.

If being a ******** is to become an offence then maybe donmac should report himself to the CPS pretty sharpish.
 

BuggerAll

LE
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#10
Get real, he made a stupid "threat" on twitter and some mouth breather thought he was being serious.

Bet you wouldn't be so quick to condemn him if he'd been a squaddy trying to get home on leave after returning from a tour.
Oddly enough it appears that no one took it seriously. The airport took no action as they did not believe it constituted a threat. It was passed up the chain because every one was covering their arrses. It should have stopped with the police. It certainly should have stopped at the CPS and the original courts have proved themselves to be incompetent.
 
#13
Oddly enough it appears that no one took it seriously. The airport took no action as they did not believe it constituted a threat. It was passed up the chain because every one was covering their arrses. It should have stopped with the police. It certainly should have stopped at the CPS and the original courts have proved themselves to be incompetent.
It certainly should have stopped at the Police with a loud bollocking and a caution at most.

BTW sections a) and b) above as quoted of the act are a bit suss. What's to stop me "feeling" "offended" and "anixous" by a comment posted on here aimed at me ? The openness of that wording is so abuseable it's unreal.....
 

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#14
...One thing I do think is that it is utterly hypocritical of Louise Mensch jumping on this to then demand apologies when she is quite happy to demand the full protection of the law in regards the internet when it suits her.

I suppose she had an equally condemnatory press release written for if the conviction was upheld?

Power without responsibility, whose perogative was that again?
I'm not sure why it is hypocritical to demand that people guilty of something should be punished and that people who are not guilty should not be caught up in the criminal justice system.
 
#15
It certainly should have stopped at the Police with a loud bollocking and a caution at most.
And then he would have complained loudly and vociferously.

So the complaint was made by the airport. He was nicked. CPS advised the charge.

Cops pass the buck to the CPS, CPS pass the buck to the courts, courts pass it to higher courts or juries and then appeal courts.

It's just the way it is now. The days of common sense and chucking some fucks into someone who says, "Fair Play; thanks for keeping it in proportion" are gone.

Oh, and did I mention a charge is a sanctioned detection? Got to keep those performance figures up for Tom Winsor and his mate the Home Sec.

And Louise Mensch is still a hypocrite. At least the judges made a decision and stuck to it.
 

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#18
Robin Hood, near Doncaster. Only town I know that would benefit being declared a Free Fire zone.
You don't get out much. There are whole swathes of the UK that could benefit from relaxed ROE. T'was ever thus:

"Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn't fit for humans now..."

Although to be fair I think Betcheman was complaining about the architectural blight rather than the human terrain blight.
 
#19
You don't get out much. There are whole swathes of the UK that could benefit from relaxed ROE. T'was ever thus:

"Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn't fit for humans now..."

Although to be fair I think Betcheman was complaining about the architectural blight rather than the human terrain blight.
True.....Swindon is pretty shite.......
 
#20
Not only did he not intend his message as a threat only an idiot would have thought it was. I would have been happy with his conviction if his 'threat' might have been thought to be serious regardless of whether he intended it or not but that isn't the case.

If being a ******** is to become an offence then maybe donmac should report himself to the CPS pretty sharpish.
I'll be right behind you in the queue!
 

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