The case of the airport hoax bomb tweet is to go to appeal at the high court. A senior human rights lawyer will lead a three-strong legal team for Paul Chambers, a 27-year-old former accounts manager in the motor trade, whose conviction in the so-called “Twitter joke trial” has become an international cause celebre. Dismissed as a foolish prank by almost everyone involved, including police officers and airport security staff, the 140-character threat has landed Chambers, 27, with a criminal conviction and fines and costs totalling over ?3,000.

He was originally convicted of menace by Doncaster magistrates this summer, after sending a message via Twitter to his girlfriend in frustration at the possible closure of the local Robin Hood airport due to snow. The pair had recently hooked up on the internet and arranged to meet in Belfast, where the young woman, known under her Twitter name of @crazycolours, lives.

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