Norwich: Men in court for shining £3.50 laser pen at Suffolk police helicopter

Suffolk police's helicopter over Kesgrave, Ipswich

Suffolk police's helicopter over Kesgrave, Ipswich - Credit:

Two men who used laser pens to shine a light at a police helicopter circling above their homes were warned of the potentially serious consequences when they appeared in court.

Samuel Davis, 24, and Adam Foster, 22, both from Clifton Close, near Old Palace Road in Norwich, pleaded guilty before city magistrates yesterday to shining a light at an aircraft in flight to dazzle/distract the pilot on October 25.

Prosecutor Denis King said: “The aircraft involved was a police helicopter being flown by Suffolk police, as part of the national police air service.

“It was about 8.30pm and the helicopter was flying over Norwich, when a bright green ‘laser-type’ light was shone at it from the ground.

“The location where it was coming from - a block of flats at Clifton Close - was identified from video cameras and then cross-referenced to maps.

“A second light then dazzled the aircraft, illuminating the cabin. It was coming from the same area, within close proximity to Norwich Airport. Officers contacted the two men and two laser pens were found.”

Dave Foulkes, for both defendants, said: “Both made full apologies. This is a relatively new offence dating back to 2009. These pens cost about £3.50 from the internet, and that’s where they got them from.

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“Neither had a full appreciation of the potentially serious consequences.”

Both men were handed 12-month conditional discharges, and magistrates warned them of the potentially serious consequences of their actions.

The court ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the two pens. Both men must also pay £15 victim surcharges and £20 each towards the costs.