Twitter Joke Trial – Reaction from the key players
There was big legal news in London today as Paul Chambers won his appeal against his conviction in the so-called ‘Twitter Joke Trial’. This is brilliant news as it means that Paul no longer has a criminal record for sending a jokey tweet – and it has set a precedent in law that should do more to protect the freedom of speech of users of social media. Which as you might imagine – is of interest to us here at Audioboo!
If you can’t remember the case – Paul Chambers was the guy who tweeted the following a few days before visiting his girlfriend Sarah:
“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!!”
Days later after someone who worked at the airport reported his tweet, he was arrested by anti-terrorism officers and later convicted of sending a ‘menacing’ communication – even though what he tweeted was obviously a joke.
So good news all round – and I was down at the High Court today to hear the judgement – and after I spoke to many of the key players, including Paul himself.
First off though, here’s David Allen Green – who is Paul’s lawyer:
I also managed to get a brief word with Paul and Sarah’s MP Louise Mensch, who is also a keen user of Twitter and social media.
One of Paul’s long term supporters is comedian Al Murray – who also came along to hear the judgement.
John Cooper QC was Paul’s leading counsel throughout the appeal – and whilst I don’t really know what this means, I do know that it means he played a key role in putting together the case for the appeal. I spoke to him about the implications.
And finally, here’s the man himself – Paul Chambers and Sarah gave me their reaction.
So there we go – a good day for freedom of speech!