23rd Jan, 2021

Redditch man JAILED for shining laser pen at a police helicopter

Harry Leach 20th Oct, 2020

A MAN who admitted shining a laser pen at a police helicopter has been jailed for four months.

Alexandru Gheorghe of Heronfield Close, Redditch, appeared at Warwick Crown Court in relation to the incident in Warwick on May 6 this year.

A National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter was flying over Warwick when a bright green laser was shone into its cockpit at around 10.20pm.

The pilot located the source as coming from a property on Rothwell Road and informed police officers who attended the scene.

Using descriptions provided by NPAS and CCTV from the premises, officers were able to identify and arrest 28-year-old Gheorghe.

A search was carried out and the laser pen was seized.

Gheorghe was charged with shining and directing a laser beam towards a person providing air traffic services.

He pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced to four months imprisonment on Wednesday, October 14.

PC Jenn Fitchew described the act as ‘incredibly dangerous’ and added it could have had catastrophic consequences.

She said: “Gheorghe was identified following a quick response by patrol officers working closely with NPAS using thermal imaging and comparing this with CCTV images at the premises where he was.

“Shining a laser beam at any land, water vehicle or aircraft is not only a criminal offence but it can also be dangerously distracting to the pilot and crew on board.

“Thankfully no damage was caused but it was an incredibly dangerous act as the helicopter was flying over a built up area and could have crashed.

“I hope that Gheorghe’s sentence acts as a deterrent to others and highlights the dangers of this crime, which often goes undetected.”

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