Court allows appeal in Twitter joke trial

Summary:Doncaster Crown Court has agreed to an application for appeal from 'Twitter joke trial' defendant Paul Chambers, according to announcements made by David Allen Green, one of the legal team advising Chambers.Green made the announcement via a post on Twitter saying "Good news!

Doncaster Crown Court has agreed to an application for appeal from 'Twitter joke trial' defendant Paul Chambers, according to announcements made by David Allen Green, one of the legal team advising Chambers.

Green made the announcement via a post on Twitter saying "Good news! Doncaster Crown Court has agreed to our application for an Appeal to the High Court."

The case is now expected to be heard in the High Court sometime between March and June 2011, Green added.

The hearing will be an "Appeal by Case Stated", a rarity in a High Court appeals, Green added.

The grounds for the appeal are based on an assertion by the defence that the magistrate made an error in law when returning the original judgement and that this should be reviewed by a higher authority.

Chambers is standing trial in the so-called Twitter joke trial as a result of a post he made to Twitter on 6 January which read:

"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 was later arrested under the Criminal Law Act 1977 for making a bomb hoax. The Crown Prosecution Service later added a charge under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003, which makes it illegal to send a message that is "grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character" over a public electronic communications network.

At an earlier hearing in September, barrister Stephen Ferguson referred to the Tweet as "obviously facetious". The appeal will be heard in the spring.

Topics: Mobility

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