Further to our blawg post from December 2010 regarding Paul Chambers’ conviction and failed appeal in the #TwitterJokeTrial, it is great to hear that Paul’s High Court appeal, led by David Allen Green, has succeeded.
Allowing the appeal, marking a win for common sense, reason and freedom of speech, the Court stated, at para 38 of the Chambers v DPP judgment:-
We agree with the submission by Mr Robert Smith QC that the mental element of the offence is satisfied if the offender is proved to have intended that the message should be of a menacing character (the most serious form of the offence) or alternatively, if he is proved to have been aware of or to have recognised the risk at the time of sending the message that it may create fear or apprehension in any reasonable member of the public who reads or sees it. We would merely emphasise that even expressed in these terms, the mental element of the offence is directed exclusively to the state of the mind of the offender, and that if he may have intended the message as a joke, even if a poor joke in bad taste, it is unlikely that the mens rea required before conviction for the offence of sending a message of a menacing character will be established. The appeal against conviction will be allowed on the basis that this “tweet” did not constitute or include a message of a menacing character; we cannot usefully take this aspect of the appeal further
The celebrations can be followed at #TwitterJokeTrial.