A man shone a laser pen at a police helicopter during rioting in Belfast to test the distance it could reach, the High Court has heard.
William Adair was trying out a Christmas present at home and has no links to those involved in street violence in the east of the city, his barrister claimed.
But a judge said the alleged actions could have caused deaths had the pilot been blinded.
Adair (28) of Loopland Road, Belfast, faces charges of endangering the safety of an aircraft and shining a light to dazzle the pilot.
The PSNI helicopter was deployed to deal with disorder linked to loyalist flag protests last Friday.
Police were able to locate the laser to Adair's home where he was arrested later that night.
The court heard he admitted shining the pen out of curiosity but denied intending to cause any danger.
According to the defence Adair was given the device by his partner for Christmas to use in paintballing-style activities.
Bail was denied despite defence arguments that Adair's alleged actions were coincidental to the rioting.