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Man in Twitter bomb threat against airport loses appeal

11 November 10 17:49
Paul Chambers

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.

Paul Chambers, 26, said he acted in frustration after Robin Hood Airport in South Yorkshire was closed by snow.

The trainee accountant from Doncaster, who now lives in Northern Ireland, was found guilty in May of sending a menacing electronic communication.

A judge at Doncaster Crown Court refused to quash his conviction.

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."

Chambers's barrister had argued the conviction should be quashed because his tweet was not "menacing".

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!"

His counsel Stephen Ferguson told the appeal hearing that even the police officer investigating the case branded it a "foolish comment posted on Twitter as a joke for only his close friends to see".

He said the prosecution had failed to prove his client had any intention to threaten anyone or that he thought there was any risk someone would interpret the tweet in this way.

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.

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