back to article UK High Court split over Twitter airport bomb joke

A man who was convicted of posting a tasteless joke on Twitter about blowing up a UK airport is to have his case heard again. According to report today from New Statesman legal scribe David Allen Green – who is also representing Paul Chambers in the appeal – two judges in the Divisional Court of the High Court had failed agree …

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  1. Sir Runcible Spoon

    Sir

    I nearly made a joke at an airport the other day when I was having my hair-gel taken off me because it was 150ml (you are only allowed 100ml).

    I was tempted to ask 'how can I blow the plane up now that you've taken my hair-gel away?'

    Of course, I realise that we live in a near state of permanent hysteria and a sense of humour is more lethal than cyanide, so I kept my mouth shut and decided to take the train next time.

    1. dotdavid
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Sir

      "I was tempted to ask 'how can I blow the plane up now that you've taken my hair-gel away?'"

      Now sir you're being unfair. It is a well-known fact that terrorists are too stupid to decant their hair gel into two seperate <100ml containe... hang on, someone at the door. BRB...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sir

      Very dangerous territory (especially in the US) .... I know of someone who when randomly selected for extra security search in New York made the mistake while handing over mobile phone saying "I better turn this off in case it makes the plane crash" (this was at the time when were lots of articles on whether mobiles in planes would interfer with guidance systems etc). They were immediately marched to a a secure room, had baggage pulled from plane and person accompanying them was told that they had made a direct threat to the safety of the plane. After further grilling they were allowed to leave but were told that it up to the pilot of the next plane whether to accept them on and that Heathrow might not allow the plane to land with them on board. Fortunately the plane was British Airways and when the pilot came in to "interview" them he immediately said it was blindingly obvious that there wasn't any threat and that there wouldn't be any further problems!

      1. thenim
        WTF?

        Re: Sir

        I once wore a T-shirt by Stussy, which has a picture of a gun on it, which morphs into a trumpet with the word "Peace" being blown out of it..

        I was stopped at Heathrow and told that I cannot wear this t-shirt on to my flight... I had to ask for the "senior" security person to come along and explain to the other security bod that there was no issue with me wearing this t-shirt....

        If they'd made me take it off, I wonder if I'd have been done for indecent exposure (of my moobs!)

        1. Echowitch
          WTF?

          Re: Sir

          I recall someone being told to change their tshirt which had a picture of Optimus Prime on, as he was holding a gun.

          In 2000 I was asked was I carrying any weapons and informed the person asking me that the sealed parcel (Xmas present) I was carrying had two small lumps of plastic that were shaped as a pistol and a shotgun. (Collectors Edition Witchblade model for the other half) They were about 1cm, and 1 inch in length respectively. This muppet actually went off and asked their supervisor if it was ok. I informed the Supervisor that A) I was not intending on opening the package on the plane as it was a gift wrapped present, and B) If I held up a lump of plastic that was 1 cm long between my thumb and forefinger and tried to hold up the plane I'd be royally laughed at !!

          Of course this was all 9 months before 9/11. If I'd tried it after 9/11 it would have been rubber glove up the bum time for me !!!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They need a judge of under 50 years old

      to understand that social networking is like having a chat with mates in the pub.

      Unfortunately they don't exist.

      1. SYNTAX__ERROR
        Stop

        Re: "social networking is like having a chat with mates in the pub"

        Except it isn't, because the exact minutiae of your pub conversations are not recorded verbatim and published permanently for anyone in the world to call up with a simple web search.

        So really we need the morons who use social networking to understand the implications of what they are doing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "social networking is like having a chat with mates in the pub"

          "Except it isn't, because the exact minutiae of your pub conversations are not recorded verbatim and published permanently for anyone in the world to call up with a simple web search."

          Just wait till "Google BarTalk (beta)" arrives!

    4. Alistair MacRae
      Mushroom

      Re: Sir

      I was flying to Prague recently and someone who didn't understand the liquid rules had a bottle of water taken off them by a rather rude lady.

      She took it and angrily threw (and I mean threw) it into the bin next to the line. I was thinking of saying good thing it’s not bloody explosive or we'd all be screwed. Then I remembered where I was.

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Shocking

    Surely these judges should be detained for supporting terrorism ?

  3. dotdavid
    WTF?

    Split?

    How can they be split on something so obvious?

    Judge 1: I mean, he clearly threatened to blow the airport sky high, and if it hadn't been for the police interception of that nefarious Tweeter terrorist network on which he was bragging about the plot he would have gotten away with it too...

    Judge 2: Twitter actually...

    Judge 1: Twitter, tweeter, whatever. Still, the interception of the criminal netw...

    Judge 2: Well actually it's a public website. My son uses it.

    Judge 1: Public? But I read those awful rioters were all on it... well, OK, so he was a criminal too stupid to realise that he was exposing his plot to the wor...

    Judge 2: It's quite a famous public website to be fair.

    Judge 1: So you're telling me everyone *knows* Twitter is public? A likely story! I'll bet it *is* a criminal network hiding in plain sight! And your son is probably a terrorist too.

    Judge 2: You sir are a buffoon.

    Judge 1: You sir are an apologist scoundrel.

    (and so on)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Split?

      How long before they start saying "That's you, that is"?

  4. Def Silver badge
    Joke

    "But the hardest thing has been the waiting..."

    Perhaps he should threaten to blow the judges sky high if they don't hurry up and make a decision.

    1. Allan George Dyer
      Black Helicopters

      Re: "But the hardest thing has been the waiting..."

      Def, you are being arrested for making a terrorist threat in a public place. Please cooperate with the men in the black helicopter.

  5. Grubby

    Seriously

    Arrested for making a joke? The person(s) who reported it, the police officer(s) who made the arrest, the lawyer(s) who let it get that far, the judge(s) who are messing about in court should all be arrested for wasting time.

    On just one news website there are 3 stories of serious child abuse, a few murders, rape, robbery and a whole list of things that have all been ongoing for years without being noticed.

    My note to the above complainers. Apply your efforts to greater things you idiotic losers.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Seriously

      That's the legal point.

      The airport didn't take the threat seriously, there was no evacuation, there was no security response. He was later arrested for making a credible terrorist threat and he argued that if nobody took it seriously then it couldn't have been credible.

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      FAIL

      Re: Seriously

      Unfortunately, the right to free speech does not include the right to shout "FIRE" in a crowed theater.

      3 lashes of the birch for being a dumb twat, 10 lashes of the birch for the even dumber twats who brought it to court.

      This in a country that is quite happy to see it's own citizens extradited to 'merkin-land but can't send Abu Qatada back to Jordan.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seriously

        I agree entirely with that sentence, for good measure I move that it be carried out by Anne Widdecombe.

        Alternatively I'd support a sentence requiring him to tweet "I am a blockhead, don't make stupid tweets like me." every day for a thousand years. Or once.

        What I don't support is still more clogging up of our justice system trying to decide on suitable punishments for being a twit.

      2. nanchatte
        Facepalm

        Re: Seriously

        Analogy is interesting but flawed.

        Calling Fire in a theatre is likely to cause a stampede and a potential for actually bodily harm.

        Saying "I'm gonna blow that stupid airport sky high" in the context of being pissed off is just a figure of speech. I don't even think he was thoughtless in a particularly bad way. He was just using a colourful expression, perhaps in exchange for a more offensive expletive... (Since as noted above, Twitter is a well known and public forum).

        Sometimes the letter of the law is not in tune with the spirit of the law.

        1. MrZoolook
          Stop

          Re: Seriously

          Quote: Calling Fire in a theatre is likely to cause a stampede and a potential for actually bodily harm. Saying "I'm gonna blow that stupid airport sky high" in the context of being pissed off is just a figure of speech.

          Well, if the airport took it seriously, and evacuated... would that not have a potential for the same injuries?

          1. Captain Underpants
            Thumb Down

            Re: Seriously

            @MrZoolook:

            That would have required them to take it seriously. Which, you know, they didn't. They took the eminently sensible approach of dismissing it as a silly comment in terms of airport operation (ie remained open and carried on operating as normal), yet tried to pull a DoubleThink when reporting it and claiming that it was a serious threat, etc.

            Mentally-deficient thinking all the way, frankly - because if they think this is any use in terms of deterring those with actual intent, they're being silly. In the same way that a credible threat who seriously wants to harm the USA (or whatever other country you want to name) *wont* be the moron lining up in a turban & flowing pyjamas with a long beard and the "ISLAM 4 LIFE YO" t-shirt.

            If the airport want to try the "it was a credible threat" defence I look forward to reaping the ancillary benefits - specifically, access to the time machine they'll need to build in order to go back to the original incident so that they can change their response and act like they cared.

          2. Martin Milan

            Re: Seriously

            Not really, since he said they had "a week and a bit" - I think an airport can be safely evacuated in eight days...

            Seriously, read about the case.

            1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

              Re: Seriously

              Wow! I’m suppressed at the number of people that don’t actually understand the concept of what freedom of speech actually is. The phrase about shouting fire comes form the case Schenck v. United State, look it up in Wikipedia if you want.

              The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic. [...] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent

              If Paul Chambers had tweeted twatted that the airport was a dump, or that his employers were idiots then that could be construed as expressing an opinion.

              However scrubber does raise an interesting point, if since there was no response and no danger of a response, and no danger of any harm, where do you draw the line?

              For example if you saw an anonymous tweet saying “I’m going to rape somebody’s sister tonight” would you be worried, would you respond? Is there any danger of harm? There might be if the tweeter were a mentally disturbed person with a history of sexual violence.

              I think the golden rule should be if you can’t say something sensible, don’t say anything at all. There is no such thing as privacy on the internet

      3. scrubber
        FAIL

        Re: Seriously

        If the shouting of "fire" can cause harm then I'd suggest that the fault is the theatre's not the yeller. The theatre can ban him, or possibly sue him, but his right to free speech should trump the inconvenience, and minuscule risk of harm, caused to other patrons and the theatre owner.

        When one quotes this bogus ruling one should be aware of what it was in relation to - it was to ban anti-draft flyers in WW1 and had nothing to do with theatres at all. And that awful ruling was, it should be noted, later overturned by Brandenburg v. Ohio in 1969.

        However, since there was no response and no danger of a response, and no danger of any harm (except to his front door) if there was a response then I really don't see either how the analogy stands up or how he's done anything wrong.

      4. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Seriously

        As I've posted before, there are several reasons why someone might shout "Fire" in a crowded theatre, not excluding that it is part of the script.

        I would definitely say, these days, that without the sound of a fire alarm, no-one would pay the slightest attention to someone shouting "Fire" in any crowded place. In most case, it requires both the alarm and people saying "This is not a drill, please make your way to the exits in an orderly fashion" before anyone will give up whatever it is they are doing. This elderly, and weak, analogy fails these days because of that. In essence, it now works to Paul Chambers' benefit, since the mere shouting is no good without further credible evidence, of which this case had none.

        The judiciary has finally produced one sensible judge who is willing to say "Hold on a minute - does this make any sense?" (which is what the magistrates should have done: it's a shame that the police and the CPS didn't). I know there are more of them, and I fervently hope that s/he is allocated to the re-hearing.

        1. Vincent Ballard
          Flame

          Re: Seriously

          In support of your point, I've been in Gatwick airport when a fire alarm went off accompanied by a recorded voice instructing people to follow the fire exit signs. I was in a bit of a quandary because I've been trained never to gather your possessions together in a fire evacuation and never to abandon anything in an airport; but after thinking about it briefly I picked up my bag and jacket and headed for a fire exit. None of the couple of hundred other people I could see did anything other than stand still and look at each other blankly.

          Of course, when I followed the fire exit sign down to a gate, the person on the gate didn't know anything about a fire alarm going off. It was probably just a system malfunction, although I never found out for sure.

      5. Martin Milan
        Thumb Down

        Re: Seriously

        Only he didn't shout anything in a crowded anywhere, did he? Making your point rather, well, lacking in point really.

    3. LaeMing
      Unhappy

      @Grubby

      You can't be serious!

      Real criminals are DANGEROUS. Law enforcers might get hurt!

      Best they stick to the made-up variety.

  6. Crisp

    If you can be jailed for joking

    Then the terrorists have already won.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Didn't someone get kicked out of their USA holiday for a twitter joke as well.

  8. LinkOfHyrule
    Coat

    decision about the so-called "Twitter Joke Trial".

    Well at least they have their terminology correct - it certainly is a joke trial.

    Mine the one with a copy of "English Criminal Law for Dumb Shits" sticking out the pocket!

  9. John G Imrie
    Joke

    Note to self

    Wen planning international bombing campaign, don't use twitter.

  10. JimmyPage

    Advice for his legal team

    Point out this recent news story

    QUOTE

    MP's 'flippant' Twitter outburst at train passenger

    A Labour MP has branded a fellow train passenger a "lager drinking oaf" and suggested he should "have been killed before he could breed".

    Kerry McCarthy, MP for Bristol East since 2005, made the comments on the micro-blogging website Twitter.

    The man, she said, was playing techno music "out loud" and wearing a T-shirt with an obscene message on it.

    Ms McCarthy, Labour's former social media tsar, later said the breeding comments were "obviously flippant".

    It is not clear from the MP's tweets where the encounter took place.

    She wrote: "Oaf on train drinking lager and playing techno music out loud. Everyone being very British about it and not complaining."

    She then described how he was wearing a T-shirt with an offensive message about his sexual prowess, adding: "Should have killed him when we had the chance before he could breed."

    In a follow-up tweet, she said her previous comments were "obviously flippant in the context of him boasting about his (unlikely) sexual prowess".

    In 2009, Ms McCarthy was appointed Labour's new media campaign co-ordinator - or social media 'tsar' - after being named as the most influential MP on Twitter.

    But she was forced to apologise and received a police caution after she revealed the details of a sample of postal votes on Twitter in the run-up to the 2010 election.

    She currently has more than 13,000 followers on the micro-blogging website.

    Ms McCarthy, first elected to Parliament in 2005, is a spokesman on foreign affairs for the opposition.

    ENDQUOTE

    1. nanchatte
      Thumb Up

      Re: Advice for his legal team

      Make that more than 13001 as of now... She sounds like she's just saying what we're all thinking.... For fuck's sake, who else feels it's a topsy-turvy world we live in when a politician of all people CAN'T say what's actually on her mind!!! GRRR....

    2. despairing citizen
      Big Brother

      Re: Advice for his legal team

      Or ask them when Francis Maude (a government minister) is going to be arrested and charged for inciting the entire UK road using public to break the law, via multi-national media outlet based in England & Wales.

      Or is there a double standard in English law!

    3. Oliver Mayes

      Re: Advice for his legal team

      Ah but you're making the classic mistake of expecting the law to apply in the same way to a politician and a prole. If a politician breaks the law it's simply because they mis-interpreted the law. If a prole breaks the same law it's because they're a criminal.

    4. Martin Milan

      Re: Advice for his legal team

      I have actually written to Ed Miliband (my MP) asking if, in light of the fact this law is so insidious that even his own "Social media Tsar" can fall afoul of it, it might be time for the opposition to actually start opposing something...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everybody sing!

    Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Bunch of jobsworth ****s (*)

    Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Don't like jokey stunts

    Tolerated by the gullible, held in contempt by those with a clue... (**)

    Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood!

    (*) Yes, I'm sorry, "twits" doesn't rhyme with "stunts" :-/

    (**) Doesn't scan, I don't care :-P

    1. Captain Underpants

      Re: Everybody sing!

      @AC

      Could always use "twunts" instead of your current choice. Not *quite* obscene (in the same way that "quim" isn't entirely obscene because lots of folks don't know what it means).

      1. Return To Sender
        Facepalm

        Re: Everybody sing!

        Had a managing director many moons ago who kept pronouncing the name of the Qume daisywheel printers (there, that dates me!) 'quim'. Nobody had the heart (or nerve) to tell him...

        1. Ben Bawden

          Optional

          He knew!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Everybody sing!

          I had a manager who used to pronounced variables ending in CNT (as in Count) without the 'o'..... No-one had the heart to point out the problem....

          1. Martin Milan

            Re: Everybody sing!

            lol...

            I've had code reviews by a technical lead who insisted I changed all my "intcnt" and "lngcnt" variable names because I was swearing...

            Hi Kelvin, if you read this!

      2. Juan Inamillion
        Thumb Up

        Re: Everybody sing!

        After watching Charlie Brooker on Have I Got A Bit More News For You last Sunday (hosted by William Shatner!!), you could use 'funt'...

        If you haven't watched the funniest HIGABMNFY ever then head over to the BBC iPlayer and watch. Those outside the UK 'might' find some joy in using *cough* iPlayer+ and searching for the above, (Season 43, Episode 7) .

  12. ukgnome
    Mushroom

    Grr

    If these muppet judge types don't get their asses in gear I'm gonna blow up the court house.

    *This is a joke, I don't know which court house or how to carry out an explosion (aside from fireworks) Sure it's not a big clever funny joke, but none the less it's a joke.

    I doubt they read El Reg but just in case they do I would like to point out that this is a joke about a joke ....oh you get the message!

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Grr

      I think we should lock you up in case its a double bluff.

    2. Ben Tasker Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Grr

      I don't know ......... how to carry out an explosion (aside from fireworks)

      Of course you do, you have the Internet. Go to a search engine and type "Howto make a bomb from fried frogs" or something more pertinent!

      <tangent>I used to enjoy making custard powder explode as a kid, and sparkler 'bombs' are awesome. <asscovering>Of course, I'd never dream of unleashing one anywhere that there might be people! </asscovering></tangent>

  13. g e
    Coffee/keyboard

    FFS!

    You could take a machine gun to these humourless petty bastards.

    Oh shit, was that incitement?

    It really takes three high court judges to work out if the guy was a loonie threat or just venting?Morons. Pathetic. There is no icon disparaging enough.

    1. Neil_

      Re: FFS!

      No they all agree he was just venting, they are arguing over whether someone should be punished (further) for posting what 'could be' deemed to be a threatening message over a public communications network.

      The fact that it was dismissed by the airport security staff and no alert was raised is supposed to be taken into account by the judges... but most of them have still decided it falls on the wrong side of the law.

  14. M E H
    Childcatcher

    Living dangerously

    I'm amazed he still has a Twitter account.

    Free speech and all that but you wouldn't think he'd risk it again.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TBF

    It means To Be Fair, not To Be Frank!

  16. Kubla Cant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Trifles

    There is an old and well-known* saying "De minimis non curat lex", which means "The law does not concern itself with trifles".

    Clearly this is no longer the case, and our Judges are in danger of getting jelly and cream all over their wigs.

    *OK, well-known among lawyers who speak Latin. But well-known enough that it's usually abbreviated to "de minimis".

    1. Mr Young
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Trifles

      "jelly and cream all over their wigs"? I do hope yer talking about lesbians sir?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Send him to Guantanamo Bay. People like him are infringing my civil liberties

  18. Keep Refrigerated
    Facepalm

    Bunch of Internet N00bs

    Better not tell them about 4chan...

  19. Mr Young
    Go

    Poor guy - the bleeding edge of British Law...

    Wipe his record clean I'd say - surely a few minutes poking around his PC would tell you if he was trying to be a comedian or a terrorist?

    1. LaeMing
      Unhappy

      Re: Poor guy - the bleeding edge of British Law...

      Surely reading the context of his twitter post would tell you if he was trying to be a comedian or a terrorist.

    2. Martin Milan

      Re: Poor guy - the bleeding edge of British Law...

      They spent more than "a few minutes" doing just that.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a friend with tourettes

    Who has a habit of shouting "I'VE GOT A BOMB" in public places, e.g. on buses.

    Should he be arrested?

    He hasn't, because the officials concerned usually understand after a very embarassing explanation, but surely the threat is no less "credible" than someone making a joke.

    Then again, what terrorist shouts "I'VE GOT A BOMB!". I'd guess there are more terrorists that would shout "ALLAHU AKBAR!" but then you'd have to arrest ordinary muslims for praying.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have a friend with tourettes

      "ADMIRAL ACKBAR!"

  21. Jop
    Stop

    In the near future

    Give it another 5 years and even the average Joe will be using VPN's and proxies for normal every day posting on the internet, just in case they say something that flags them up for arrest....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In the near future

      Except the Social Media sites will probably ask for passport numbers to 'help improve your experience' or something.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In the near future

        Except the Social Media sites will probably ask for passport numbers to 'help improve your experience' or something.

        Yup - I've nuked the "gimme your mobile number to make you safe" bollocks more times than I care to count - both Faceslap and Gargle are at it.

    2. Martin Milan

      Re: In the near future

      I already use one on occasion... Not here though, usually...

  22. MrZoolook
    Meh

    He should have joked...

    ... about bombing LA or some other US airport. He would have got swifter justice because no judge in the UK would have been allowed to contest it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He should have joked...

      Are you kidding? They would have exported the chap without a second thought..

  23. DaveB
    Facepalm

    There is a time and a place

    This reminds me of the Oil worker flying in to Algeria. When asked by airport security if he had a criminal record, he replied "I didn't know it was a requirement".

    It took him 6 more hours to gain entry to the country.

  24. Elmer Phud
    Facepalm

    Pedantry

    ". . . this may be only the second time it has happened this century."

    Ah well, only another 88 years to see if the record stands.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Pedantry

      If it happens again, this will still be the second time. I assume the 'maybe' is there in case there is another case that has already happened which the author doesn't know about.

  25. hi_robb
    Mushroom

    Daft

    This should have never come to trial in the first place. A waste of time, resources and even the airport didn't take it seriously but had to log it as a standard procedure.

    And in case the authorities are watching, I have no connection to any terrorists nor do I condone the threatening of blowing up of airports!

    Praise be Allah

  26. lukewarmdog
    Alert

    why didn't they take it seriously?

    We all know they didn't, and are glad because it wasn't, after all, a real bomb threat. However.. who's call was that? Did they lookup his twitter name, find out his real name, punch it in to get his passport details and find out he was just a white, middle class guy with Christian down as his religion? Cos that's racial profiling.

    Or did they just think "you know what, anyone who makes a comment like that publicly doesn't carry it out"

    Or is it policy that if it doesn't come to the secret desk, via the secret phone and using the secret identifying phrase, they aren't allowed to take it seriously?

    "bomb threat!"

    "where?"

    "twitter"

    "oh nm then"

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cf Jeremy Clarkson

    "I'd have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families."

    "I don't care. Anyone who operates a noisy garden tool on sunny day should be shot. In front of their families."

    Which apparently doesn't merit a prosecution, because he's a celeb.

  28. Winkypop Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Like, what if....

    ..hundreds of people re-tweeted the exact same statement on "let's reclaim a sense of proportion day"?

    I'll start......

    1. Juan Inamillion
      Coat

      Re: Like, what if....

      "I'm Spartacus!"

  29. John A Blackley

    The consequences of....

    Laws being made by people who have no concept of the world the rest of us inhabit and being applied by people who have no concept........... Oh, wait, I begin to see a trend here.

    Sadly, apart from the defendant, there seems to be no-one in this whole sorry process who possesses a sense of proportion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The consequences of....

      I agree... five years of porridge should be the minimum. Punishment is meant to be a deterrent even if you can't fix STUPID!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The consequences of....

      ...more like making bad life choices and then not wanting to be held accountable for your actions.

      1. Captain Underpants
        Facepalm

        Re: The consequences of....

        @AC

        Don't be a bellend. Treating a bad joke like a serious threat is about as sensible as the US Military using security-through-jailing-those-intruders-they-catch. It doesn't *actually* work to protect the infrastructure concerned from the threat you're dealing with - it just serves as a convenient web in which to snare other folks thrown into the spotlight more or less at random.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The consequences of....

          Tell it to the judge. There are a lot of really dumbarse people in the world, including those who make bomb threats. They need to be reminded these acts are not a "joke". Prison will do them good in driving this message home. If you're dumb enough to make a bomb threat, you're dumb enough to go to prison.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Captain Underpants
            Thumb Down

            Re: The consequences of....

            Right, yes, because of course what will work for all of us in a truly pragmatic sense is to treat every word posted on the internet as being an entirely serious statement, without doing any work to check whether there's due reason to do so.

            You do realise the same people enforcing this system you trust so much are also the stupid bastards who do things as important to our overall safety as (mis)using the Extreme Pornography sections of the Coroners & Justice Act to make life difficult for knock-off DVD sellers, or attempting to convict people for possession of child pornography based on the heinous possession of a book sold in high-street bookshops containing photos featured in a high-profile & well-received photography exhibition (despite not pursuing the book's publisher or the original exhibiting gallery), or letting the police force continue to treat the taking of a photograph as a potential crime on the basis of misunderstood anti-terrorist legislation, yes?

            Explain to me how it's a benefit to society over all to add this guy (who, while a bit silly, was until this incident working and paying tax, and therefore a contributing member of society) to the ever-growing prison population? Nobody's demonstrated that he's a threat to anything except perhaps your utter terror of people Making Jokes About Things You Consider To Be Srs Bsns, so I'd say that's a textbook case of Legal Fuckupery With Bellendery Aforethought.

  30. Boris S.

    What a fool

    If this moron ends up in jail he won't think this joke was quite so funny, will he?

    1. Captain Underpants

      Re: What a fool

      Those of us paying taxes into the system maintaining the jail to which he is consigned for the Foul Crime of Making A Stupid (Yet Harmless) Joke won't think the overall situation's funny either.

      Where's the benefit to society overall of taking someone who was working and paying tax and turning them into a convict over something this stupid? Surely a caution for Being Bloody Silly On The Internet would've been enough for this case.

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