Man jailed for shining laser pen at helicopter over Warwick

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A man who admitted shining a laser pen at a helicopter above Warwick has been jailed for four months.

Alexandru Gheorghe, of Heronfield Close in Redditch, appeared at Warwick Crown Court in relation to an incident in Warwick earlier this year.

At around 10.20pm on 6 May the National Police Air Service (NPAS) was mobile and flying over Warwick when a bright green laser was shone into their cockpit.

They located the source as coming from a nearby premises on Rothwell Road and informed police 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 a laser cap seized.

After further investigation, Gheorghe was charged with shining/directing a laser beam towards a person providing air traffic services. He pleaded guilty to the offence and on Wednesday (14 October) was sentenced to four months imprisonment.

PC Jenn Fitchew 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 and have potentially catastrophic consequences.

“Thankfully no damage was caused in this instance 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.”