Tyne & Wear

David Taylor sentenced for helicopter laser pen attack

A Newcastle teenager who shone a laser pen into the cockpit of the Northumbria Police helicopter has been sentenced.

David Taylor shone the pen twice at the aircraft from his home in Harehills Avenue, Kenton, dazzling the pilot, the city's crown court heard.

The 18-year-old admitted acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft and was sent to a young offenders institute for three months.

Northumbria Police said the sentence sent out the "right message".

The court heard that the helicopter was travelling to Newcastle Airport when a green laser pen was shone at it, dazzling the pilot on 12 March.

A few minutes later it was shone again and the crew were able to pinpoint the address it was coming from, the hearing heard.

Taylor was later arrested and the pen recovered.

Northumbria Police spokesman, Sgt Colin Murray, said: "I hope this sentence sends out the message to others that this sort of behaviour is not a game or a prank, it's extremely serious and will be dealt with that way by the authorities.

"What people must understand is that this is a dangerous offence which could cause a serious incident and puts lives at risk, and offenders could find themselves behind bars."

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