The appeal of Paul Chambers will resume at Doncaster Crown Court on Thursday 11 November 2010.
The appeal is of his conviction under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003. Paul was convicted on 10 May 2010 by Doncaster Magistrates’ Court of sending, by means of a public communications network, a message which was of a menacing character.
There are three bases for the appeal: that the message was not menacing, that Paul did not intend to send a menacing message, and that the message was not sent by means of a public communications network (as Twitter is a private network for the purposes of the Communications Act).
The appeal is part-heard. At the conclusion of the prosecution case on 24 September 2010, the defence submitted that the prosecution had not established a case to answer. The Crown Court then adjourned the hearing so as to consider this “half time” submission.
On Thursday 11 November 2010 the Crown Court is expected to first rule on this submission. If the submission is not successful then the defence will present its case. This is likely to include Paul giving evidence and being cross-examined by the prosecution. The Crown Court will then decide on the appeal. It is possible that the Crown Court may again adjourn to consider its decision.
Paul’s barristers are Stephen Ferguson of 2 Bedford Row and Sarah Przybylska of 2 Hare Court.
Preiskel & Co LLP, a boutique City firm specialising in technology/media/telecommunications, is acting for Paul on a pro bono basis in this case, working alongside Doncaster criminal solicitors HDH Law.
The case is being handled by David Allen Green, head of media. David previously helped co-ordinate the Simon Singh libel defence campaign and recently acted successfully for Sally Bercow against MigrationWatch.
All media inquiries to Preiskel & Co LLP on 020 7332 5640