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Judge points laser dazzler man towards prison

Four months for plodcopter attack

By John Oates, 27 Jun 2008

A 21-year old man was yesterday sentenced to four months in prison for shining a laser pointer at a police helicopter.

Dean Bottomley of Stockport, Greater Manchester had already pleaded guilty to endangering an aircraft.

The helicopter pilot said the £30 laser pen made him temporarily blind and unable to see instruments because the cockpit was flooded with light. The helicopter suffered a previous dazzle attack earlier in the evening.

The judge said the sentencing included a deterrent and Bottomley needed to "get out of this stupidity phase", the BBC reports.

There have been several similar attacks this year. In New South Wales, Australia, which has seen attacks on passenger aircraft, the pointers have been classified as deadly weapons and will require a permit as if they were firearms. ®

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing