Man Speaks Out After Being Arrested For Tongue-In-Cheek Tweet

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The Guardian

Open mouth. Insert tweet?

In January, Paul Chambers was arrested by British police after one of his tweets was deemed a bomb threat against England’s Robin Hood Airport.

Chambers, who wrote about his ordeal yesterday for The Guardian, says he can’t believe his comments (brought on because of heavy snow fall that closed the airport just days before he intended to fly) were taken seriously: “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!”

Still, the 26-year-old was ordered to pay 1,000 pounds (about $1,500) on Monday for his “menacing” tweet and now says he’s lost his job and gained a criminal record.

“Whatever happens now, I remain terrified,” he wrote. “Terrified of speaking my mind, terrified that my life has potentially been ruined. Most of the authorities could see it for what it was, and yet I find myself with a conviction because the Crown Prosecution Service decided it was in the public interest to prosecute. It would appear we live in such a hyper-sensitive world that we cannot engage in hyperbole, however misguided, without having civil liberties trampled on by, at best, heavy-handed police.”

The silver lining? He’s still tweeting.

(via The Guardian)