So Paul Chambers, the man who sparked a full-on security alert at Robin Hood airport (near Doncaster) when he Tweeted “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!!” back in 2010 when the airport was temporarily shut during heavy snow has finally won his appeal against his conviction for “sending a menacing electronic communication” at the High Court in London.
I’m pleased for him in a kind of passive, passing, glad-somebody-finally-saw-sense kind of way. Mainly though I just feel hugely disgruntled at the amount of tax payer’s money that has been wasted bringing this case to trial, bringing it to appeal at a Crown Court only for that appeal to be initially quashed and then being brought to the High Court where it was eventually brought before someone with a brain cell who could finally see it for the ridiculously petty pile of shit that it actually was.
Apparently his initial appeal at the Crown Court was overturned because the judge said the Tweet was “clearly menacing”.
Clearly menacing? I’ve received begging letters from the RSPCA that were more menacing than that.
It is surely plain to everyone that the Tweet was a joke. A joke in poor taste admittedly and not even particularly funny but a joke nevertheless. The guy was cheesed off. His flight was delayed. It was snowing. He was stuck in Doncaster. It was an unthinking moment of heat and frustration. It was a little guy sounding off against a big corporate machine that had let him down. And can I just say again that he was stuck in Doncaster?
Even if he really had blown up the airport surely that alone would be a mitigating circumstance?
As it was, John Cooper QC last month said: “[the Tweet] was certainly not sent in the context of terrorism and it was wrong for the crown court to make such an association”.
Commonsense prevails at last. The Law is less of an ass than I thought it was.
But the staff at Robin Hood airport ought to hang their heads in shame along with all those who helped push this case along via the hard earned money of the likes of you and me.
Have we actually really reached an age where the average man on the street can’t cock a snoop at the big corporations with the only weapon available to him that is still free – i.e. his speech?
We have to accept here that there is a huge, clearly recognizable difference between “you have five minutes to evacuate, there is a bomb on your premises, die infidel pig-dog, the code word is kebab” and “your service is so crap you need a bomb put under you to get things to improve”. Real bomb threats are, after all, plainly not funny.
Real bomb hoaxes are also not funny. But “you've got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high”, oh and by the way you can clearly identify me by my Twitter account and my 600 Followers is clearly not even in the same ballpark. That isn’t even remotely threatening. It’s someone throwing their rattle out of the pram and then having it taken to the police by a prat who then complains to the police that they felt frightened by the rattle - please lock them up Mr Policeman for I was very fwightened.
Honestly! Some people need to get a life.
Preferably before I blow them sky-high with the two tonnes of Semtex that I have rabidly secreted down my Y-fronts and packed into the hairy chambers of my armpits.
Go on. Complain about this fucking blog. I just dare you!
My finger is hovering over the button right now! One wrong move and you’re all going to die with the smoke of my singed underpants in your lungs!