Friday, November 12, 2010

Judicial Ruling - Personal Humour, Not OK

From the BBC.

A man who posted a Twitter message threatening to blow up an airport is facing a £3,000 bill after losing an appeal against his conviction.

£3,000?  What did he tweet?

The message Chambers sent to his 600 followers in the early hours of 6 January said: "Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week... otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!"

Three grand for that?

At his trial in May, Chambers was fined £385 and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge by a district judge.
 On Thursday he was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,600.

Fear not.

After the hearing, actor and Twitter fan Stephen Fry tweeted that he would pay Chambers' fine.
He tweeted: "My offer still stands. Whatever they fine you, I'll pay."

I'd threaten to blow them up for you Mr Chambers, but I can't afford the legal bill.  Besides, "Side bar please your honour!"

Ermm, Your honour if for example the law for Common Assault requires

"Both in the common law and under statute, the actus reus of a common assault is committed when one person causes another to apprehend or fear that force is about to be used to cause some degree of personal contact and possible injury. There must be some quality of reasonableness to the apprehension on the part of the victim. If the physical contact is everyday social behaviour such as a handshake or friendly pat on the back, this is acceptable even though the victim may have a phobia although, if the defendant is aware of the psychological difficulty, this may be converted into an assault if the intention is to exploit the condition and embarrass the victim."

So, M'lud could you confirm for us please; I can spit a threatening promise to maybe kick someone in the nuts next week, but I can't make an obvious joke on twitter?...  Actually don't answer that M'lud, I rather stupidly forgot for a moment we were living in the UK.


James Higham said...

Am I allowed to threaten to blow up Osborne?

Shane said...

It's amazing that it's come to this! In a world where the internet has granted everyone (with access) a voice, you still have to be careful what you say.