Man, 60, shines laser at police helicopter before he’s traced to his bedroom

Man, 60, shines laser at police helicopter before he’s traced to his bedroom

The laser was shone from a bedroom window (Picture: Wessex News Agency)

Police in Bournemouth have tracked down and arrested a man who shone a laser at a police helicopter.

The 60-year-old man fired the laser directly into the helicopter’s cockpit, and was arrested under the Laser Misuse Act of 2018.

A spokesman for Hampshire Roads Policing Unit said on Saturday: ‘Earlier today we had a vehicle which failed to stop for us in Southampton.

‘We were thankful for the assistance from NPAS who attended from Bournemouth to help with the search for the vehicle.

‘However, this clearly was not appreciated by everyone as the aircraft was targeted from an address in the Portswood area by a laser device, which was quickly identified by NPAS.

‘Being close by, we were more than happy to assist our high-flying colleagues and locate the suspect.’

The helicopter had been tracking a car which didn’t stop (Picture: Shutterstock)

After being taken into custody, the man was given a conditional caution.

Those who target aircraft, road vehicles or boats face 12-month prison sentences under the Laser Act.

Last year, an air ambulance crew member suffered a burnt cornea when his aircraft was targeted with a laser.

Alex Clark, 30, said: ‘A green laser went straight through the right side of my goggles, causing them the flare-out.

‘As I’ve turned my head, it’s hit my right eye. Initially, I couldn’t see for about 30 seconds and, after that, I got quite blurred vision. It really affected me.’

Clark woke up bleary-eyed the next morning, he said, with an optician telling him his cornea had been singed.

The injury healed within a few days, though Clark said he was ‘100%’ worried that the incident could have been a lot worse.

‘This is the one career I want and if this affects my eyesight,’ he said, adding that it could have unfolded differently if the pilot had been hit with the laser instead.

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