Teenager fined after helicopter incident

AN IPSWICH teenager who shone a torch at the Suffolk police helicopter has walked free from court after being spared a prison sentence.

AN IPSWICH teenager who shone a torch at the Suffolk police helicopter has walked free from court after being spared a prison sentence.

Fining 19-year-old Alfie Brazil �250 Judge Nicholas McKittrick said he had made the pilot's job “a little more difficult” rather than endangering the safety of the aircraft.

He said that anyone who shone a laser pen at a helicopter or plane could expect to receive an immediate prison sentence as a laser pen had the potential to cause more serious consequences.

Brazil, of Woodlands Way, Ipswich admitted an offence of harassment and in addition to being fined he was ordered to pay �100 costs and was bound over to be of good behaviour for 12 months in the sum of �500.

Brazil had denied endangering the safety of an aircraft and this offence was left on the court file.

Godfried Duah, prosecuting said the crew of the Suffolk police helicopter had been flying to Wattisham airfield at 10.15pm on July 14 last year when a high power torch was shone at the aircraft.

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The cockpit of the helicopter was illuminated and the pilot had been concerned for the safety of himself and his crew.

Police officers were directed to the source of the beam after the torch was shone at the helicopter a second time and Brazil was arrested.

Christopher Paxton for Brazil described his client's behaviour as foolish but said it wasn't premeditated.

He said Brazil was a gardener and maintenance worker but was currently unemployed.

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