Stephen Fry pledges 'to go to jail' over twitter joke trial
Tim Clark16 April 2011
Stephen Fry has pledged that he is ready to ‘go to prison’ over a controversial twitter joke which led to a man being sentenced under the Terrorism Act.
Fry was appearing at a benefit gig organised for Paul Chambers, who is currently appealing his sentence at the High Court.
Chambers caused a storm after tweeting on the micro blogging site: "Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week... otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!"
Though the message was meant as a wry joke, the 27-year-old accountant was arrested in January by four police officers under the terrorism act for sending for sending a malicious electronic communication. He was subsequently found guilty in a magistrates court and fined £385 plus £600 costs.
Further unsuccessful appeals have saddled Chambers with over £2,000 in legal costs as he fights to clear his name. Meanwhile, the trial has become a battle for the right for freedom of speech over the internet.
Fry, who was joined by other high profile comedians including Al Murray, Rufus Hound, Katy Brand and Graham Linehan at the Bloomsbury, said that the verdict ‘must not be allowed to stand in law’ and is an example of the British sense of humour.
The comedian also promised to republish the original joke and face court himself if it was necessary.
Appearing at the benefit at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London, Graham Linehan said: "We've got this incredible tool and we should fight any attempt to take it out of our hands."
Al Murray, who also appeared on stage at the Bloomsbury, took a slightly more humours tone with his set, saying the gig should possibly be called "Save Paul Chambers from his own stupid destiny event".
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