Stephen Fry joins online protest over 'Twitter joke' conviction

Offers to pay fine after appeal is rejected
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Stephen Fry has offered to pay the fine of a man convicted of posting a 'manacing' message on Twitter, following the rejection of his appeal yesterday.

Upon suffering a delay at an airport in Yorkshire earlier this year, Paul Chambers 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!"

He was convicted of making a “menacing threat to security”, which he had hoped to get overturned yesterday.

According to BBC News, Judge Jacqueline Davies dismissed Chambers' appeal, adding substantial legal fees on top of the fine, bringing the total to over £3,000 for the former accountant.

After yesterday's hearing, actor and celebrity tweeter Stephen Fry offered to pay Chambers' fine. "My offer still stands. Whatever they fine you, I'll pay," he tweeted.

Presently Chambers has not replied, reportedly due to an unpaid phone bill.

The Crown Prosecution Service used laws designed for nuisance calls which require a less stringent proof of intent. Davies said the tweet was "menacing in its content and obviously so.”

The twitterverse is unsurprisingly up in arms with #twitterjoketrial hashtag trending sharply worldwide. Chambers' partner, Twitter user crazycolours, to whom the original tweet was directed, wrote: “My battery is dying. We are gutted. It's not the fine, this is stopping Paul getting a job and has ruined his life.”

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