Teenager told he could have caused disaster by dazzling helicopter pilot with laser pen

Stock image of laser pens
Stock image of laser pens
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A BOY shone a £10 laser pen at a police helicopter to see if it would reach, a court heard.

The 14-year-old was shining the laser in his upstairs Portsmouth bedroom when he saw the helicopter on March 1.

He admitted dazzling the pilot at Portsmouth Youth Court and told magistrates he was ‘quite shocked’ at the possible consequences.

Alicia Keen, prosecuting, said the pilot directed officers to the boy’s house after the 9.17pm incident.

Sentencing the schoolboy to a six-month youth referral order, magistrate Kevin Head said the pilot could have crashed or been blinded.

Mr Head said: ‘The pilot could have been blinded, there could have been a nasty accident, not only to the helicopter but it could have come down in a built-up area causing death and all sorts of destruction.’

He added: ‘It’s becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society at aircraft in flight. The police and authorities are taking much more action to track down people.’

But he said the boy was ‘reckless’ and had no intention to dazzle the aircrew.

Asked by Mr Head how the boy feels about it now, the youngster said: ‘Quite shocked.’ And the boy said ‘yeah’ when asked if he understood the dangers.

Angie Parkins, for the boy, said: ‘He was in the bedroom shining the pen around when the helicopter was seen. His thought was to see if the laser pen could reach the helicopter. ‘No thought at the time of the dangers that could follow. Obviously those were highlighted to him.’

Magistrates ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge, which will paid by the boy’s dad, who was in court. Alicia Keen, prosecuting, said: ‘Police were flying over Portsmouth in a helicopter and a laser pen was being shone at them from (an address).

‘It appeared to be coming from a rear upstairs bedroom. Other officers were sent to (the address), being guided by the personnel in the helicopter.

The boy admitted shining a light at an aircraft in flight so as to dazzle the pilot under the Air Navigation Order 2016.

PC Andy Sparshott from Hampshire police said: ‘This type of activity is highly dangerous and irresponsible during any phase of flight, especially during critical times such as landings at night.’